Here’s the list of free/donationware must-haves:
Firefox – Better browser, safer to use. Extensions rock.
SpywareBlaster – Prevents Spyware from being installed.
AdAware SE – Spyware removal tool.
Spybot Search and Destroy – Spyware prevention and removal tool.
AVG Anti-Virus – Free anti-virus tool. Use can use Symantec if you have the money and system resources.
Crap Cleaner – One-click deletion of your Recycle Bin, temp directories, browser cache, etc.
As always, it’s better not to get spyware on your machine, but if you do, these guys can help:
Once you’ve installed all this stuff, don’t forget to update the definition files! I use Yahoo! Calendar to send me email reminders of this and other tedious tasks.