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.