- Firewall, do not rely on your OS firewall
I use ZoneAlarm and have done for more than 7 years with no issues,
anyone telling you that ZA is rubbish is chatting out their butt cheeks.
- Anti-Spyware tools, Spybot Search & Destroy from safer networking
- SpywareBlaster from JavaCool
- AdAware from Lavasoft download via download.com
- AVG Antivirus is a top class AV and has many features that run in background that protect your PC.
- Limewire is a dangerous program, if you must p2p then pick a mule or a torrent client thats known well and it reall is best to avoid the Gnutella networks with hybrid clients like Shareaza
- Using a NAT / Router will also help you
What you need to do is to come off-line but before you do, update the AV program and spyware signatures that your able to get updates from.
When off line, hoping you install AVG and make the Rescue disks, boot from the set of rescue disks and do a complete AV scan in DOS and not via the cmd window aka MSDOS under windows but DOS as in D O S before the computer boots windows up.
Let AVG clean your PC of any nasties, shut it down after killing off any boot infectors, etc. Then run the spyware tools in windows, for then on you can use AVG under windows, the running of AVG from dos stops any boot sector infections from stealing and copying or mutating as well as restoring themselves.
Finally... if you go for a torrent client, a word of warning, uTorrent I have discovered an issue with security, my PC has been under UDP flooding attacks and Denial of service attacks, Bit Torrent when it installs installs something called dna.exe which I have found installs itself with root privileges and it was used as a DOS tool and I killed it off, that program is installed when Bit Torrent is installed.
I do seriously advise that you also watch Azureus also as I experienced similar UDP flooding and DOS attacks whilst in use.
I have never had an issue with eMule although it is slow, Shareaza has some security issues but its better than some clients and a darn sight more secure than Limewire. Bearshare is one I used once, I uninstalled it and everything I downloaded got deleted during the uninstall, bit retarded way of going about it I know. XoloX if it still going is another client that is best left alone.
I will say this for nowt, the number of times I have go to forums to report the issues I have found and logged attacks in my firewall to be told I don't know what IM talking about by snotty nosed anus brains is unreal. I am a veteran of peer to peer, theirs not a client I haven't tried even the hybrids and obscure download clients and I have gone back to using one client and I don't know why I stopped using it... eMule. I have never had a virus planted on my system from using it, I have never had a UDP flood or SYN attack from using it, sure the forum people may be obnoxious and stuck up but you cant have it all and its one of the only ones I know that has a reliable IRC client built in.