Security is tough. There are many things you can do to protect your digital life. These all have a cost in time, effort, learning, convenience and sometimes money. One thing you could do that would be of great advantage and only require a little cost is to use Sandboxie.
I’ve been using Sandboxie since 2009. I’ve been using the free version though I am thinking of buying it to support it’s development. Sandboxie is a sort of light weight virtual machine. The benefit to this in simple terms is, whatever happens inside the sandbox stays inside the sandbox. Click on a bad link on a webpage and download a virus? Delete the sandbox and it’s gone. It is a layer of protection between your computer and whatever application you are running in the sandbox. Any changes an application tries to make to your system are only made in the sandbox unless you explicitly tell Sandboxie to let it through. Otherwise you just flush the sandbox and it’s like it never happened. System files, registry entries, cookies, all of it is kept away from your machine.
It is easy to install and use with very little instruction. The free version just has a nag screen. There are probably other features missing but what most people would use this for is their internet browser and maybe an email application.
Especially if you’ve had issues with bad stuff making its way into your system before give it a try.