This is part 4 of the Safe Surfing Guide series. You may check other parts as well to read the complete safe surfing guide.
To surf safely, your browser can also play an important role. There are so many choices for browsers now: IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, SeaMonkey; all are freely available. But unfortunately, most users are still using the crappy piece of IE, simply because it is bundled by M$.
You should dump IE when you get your new PC. Most computer viruses or malware reply on IE, because M$ tightly integrate IE with the Windows OS.
In addition, IE is notorious for ignoring the web standards and trying best to drag the advancement in HTML standard. Although M$ changed gradually changed the strategy since IE 8, but it is too little, too small.
Sadly, if you are not using Windows 7, you cannot disable or remove IE. On Windows 7, it is possible to disable it. You may check this Youtube video on how to disable or remove IE on Windows 7.
So, you need install alternative (and surely better) web browser. Then, which browser is the best? My recommendation is Chrome.
If you had asked me this question one year ago, I would have recommend Firefox. But Firefox is burying itself. After Firefox 4, it seems the guys behind the project were getting crazy. The short release cycle just leaves a lot of incompatibility issues behind. I am currently still using Firefox 4. I downgraded after the automatic upgrading brought me to Firefox 5 and then 6. Now, I have to disable the automatic upgrading. Anyway, it is still better than IE.
On the other hand, Chrome browser is getting better. It is the most secured browser: each tab in its own sandbox. You also do not need administrator privilege to install it, so you can even install your own copy of Chrome in your school or company.
Of course, there are some security settings to make your surfing safer. I will share with you some security setting for Chrome in another post.
Anyway, if you do not like Google. You may try SeaMonkey or Opera. Both of them are also better than IE.