I’ve preached this forever. Most errors originate between the keyboard and the chair. What’s that mean? You’ll need to fix how you operate before things will become more secure. Upgrading your security will help change your habits. I’ve posted plenty of stuff about locking down your browser which is a huge step. Secondly, I’ve gone over social engineering. Be paranoid and always err on the side of caution. You can be a smart user on any OS, so make it happen!
This is the big one right? Everyone wants to know how to secure Windows. Well, bad news you don’t. The standard with Windows is to avoid being the low hanging fruit. EMET is a great start. From there, go ahead and get whatever AV you feel comfortable with. I don’t suggest Kaspersky, Symantec, or any other foreign AV’s. They’re solid but I don’t really trust them. Either way, it isn’t your main defense. From there, make sure your firewall is enabled and you’re constantly updating everything. Not just Windows updates but Java, Adobe, etc.
One of the first things I suggest for Mac is to grab Little Snitch. It’s a more powerful firewall than the built in one. Which by the way, the default one is disabled by default. The next step you can take is encrypting your hard drive. FileVault 2 lets you do that without installing anything extra. What about AV? Sure, get after it. I’ve never tested any of them but Intego or Sophos is the way to go, or so I’ve heard. Finally, enable keychain. It’s like a built in LastPass for your Mac.
Ok, this gets a bit more technical. Right, get after AV and update things but there’s more. RESTRICT ROOT ACCESS! If you don’t then it’s game over. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you probably don’t use Linux and you shouldn’t worry about it. Second, disable unneeded services. This is important on Windows and Mac as well but can be more damaging on Linux. Finally, do not automount devices. Linux trusts the user. Since the user is where most errors come from, it’s dangerous. You’ll need to dig deep to get things really locked down. Another helpful thing here is to periodically run netstat to find out what ports are running. If you find something new then you might have a problem.
That’s a good start. However, the most important thing is keeping up with the times. Soon, I’m sure, EMET won’t be that helpful and you’ll need to get something new. Keep your head on a swivel and keep current.