I converted another computer to firefox today after getting rid of the spyware that had invaded it. Chalk another up for the open source community.
You get a great warm feeling inside after deleting the Internet Explorer icon from the desktop. Its great way to subtly tell Microsoft to pick up their game. Frankly I'm a bit sick of spyware and malware and zombies. In my opinion the biggest problems with internet security at this point in time is IE, Outlook and the unprotected network mode Windows defaults to on installation.
If you're having trouble I reckon the best thing you can do to make things better is to avoid one or all three of those things. I recommend ditching the PC altogether getting an apple.
PS - getting an antivirus package and a firewall app can lessen the problems caused by some of these apps too.