IT reflects life in this regard, implementing security solutions costs and has annoying overheads but there are unscrupulous characters out there looking to steal your credit card details, sell you various ‘enhancement’ products or slimming pills. This means that security needs to be considered as soon as you plug any item into the Internet (we recommend not plugging in until your security solutions are in place).
Now firewalling is best handled at the router but local firewalls are handy for internal threats (sad but true) or when other local machines have been compromised. Fortunately most workstation Operating Systems come with decent in-built firewalls (Windows has since XP SP2) and these are usually sufficient.
Antivirus is another matter and whilst Microsoft has released Security Essentials for free to companies with less than 10 users our favoured commercial product is ESET NOD32. It protects well, updates quickly and does not get in the way or slow your machine down as much as others.
Diagknows does not recommend local anti-spam software instead preferring the excellent service provided by JunkEmailFilter however we do like Untangle as a free border security suite (best if used transparently on a dedicated server) and provides some sophisticated filtering and protection for little outlay.