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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.

Thanks

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If you are going to -1 my question at least post a reason... –  Matt Apr 30 '13 at 4:46
    
If you want you can install a better 3rd party firewall and in addition use your router's hardware firewall feature. I think all you're doing now combined with basic common-sense about which sites to visit or programs to run should ensure malware doesn't get in in the first place. Some amount of paranoia is helpful when it comes to security, but beyond that for a normal home user it's not healthy IMO. :) (The VM won't really help if the networked guest OS is going to be your primary work environment anyway. Same amount of security with worse performance.) –  Karan Apr 30 '13 at 14:43

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