windows 7 firewall security

Sorry if this is a repeat, but I have been searching the forums and haven't found an exact answer for my question.

I have had some security concerns on my home network lately so I decided to take a second look at my windows 7 firewall. I have it blocking all incoming and outgoing connections except the programs I regularly use.

Is this enough for a good secure setup? When I have allowed programs through I have just set the firewall to allow the application with no conditions (on all ports to all destinations). Should I configure it to only allow them on the ports they use or is that a waste of time to add in all those extra rules. I don't want to overdo it but I want to create the most secure environment possible.

I have virus and spyware software installed, run regular checks and have a program that lets me easily monitor all active connections but I am still concerned about malware "hijacking" some of my allowed programs and getting through the firewall. Is this something I should worry about or am I being overly cautious.

My friend told me I should be running linux on my machine and use a windows virtual machine within it for added security, but I can't imagine that will prevent most windows exploits from being utilized as I am still running most of my applications in the windows environment. It seems a bit extreme to me.

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  1. Windows firewall should be disabled. Your anti-virus should have a firewall running that will automatically allow things through that should be.

    Running Windows on a virtual machine in Linux? Unproductive and dumb for the most part unless you only need Windows for 1 or 2 things on occasion.

    You're not going to get infected unless your doing stupid stuff like downloading files from suspicious sites.

    What anti-virus/anti-spyware are you using?
  2. I'm Using Avast for virus software and spybot search and destroy and malwarebytes for spyware (I have found they each pick up stuff the other doesnt). I'm sure Avast has some sort of firewall but it doesn't have any firewall options which makes me nervous. Could it hurt to have strict windows firewall rules on top of virus software? I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to computer security. I don't download stuff from suspicious sites but I still find some malware on my computer from time to time. It makes me think i'm doing something wrong. I know its out there but I want to be as secure as possible
  3. Avast free does not have a firewall if I remember correctly, so that may be why.

    People will constantly always recommend different anti-virus software(rarely see everyone agree on one thing), but here's my recommendation:

    Either install Microsoft security essentials, it's free and pretty good, or buy one of the following below.

    Norton 360


    Let the anti-virus handle the Windows firewall, these two will disable it and use theirs, and use malwarebytes along side one of them. Don't use two firewalls at once obviously it could cause issues.

    If you're finding stuff on your PC on a regular basis, you're visiting sites you shouldn't or downloading things you shouldn't.

    The most common things I've seen malware come from is torrents/limewire(frostwire)/suspicious emails, and odd sites that you have no reason to visit anyway. Getting your computer infected

    *The best protection is common sense when using a PC.*
  4. try AVG it has a firewall for free wid it
  5. Use Firefox & No-Script, and a hardware firewall router.
  6. No-Script is a great add-on to use, also ad blocker.
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