This may not be news to some of you, but according to a study done by SANS Institute’s Internet Storm Centre (ISC), an unpatched PC is likely to last a mere four minutes on the Internet before being attacked and compromised.
That’s kind of scary.
How do you avoid this? Use a router (never connect a computer directly to the Internet) and have a personal firewall for extra security. Make sure your anti-virus is up to date. Then install patches as quickly as possible and keep your system fully patched. In fact, some more paranoid IT types that I know argue that you should patch the PC before putting on-line. Not exactly practical for most, but I can see why that advice exists.