Posted 03 September 2006 - 03:10 AM
Welcome to BC, a great user community. I think you will find the information here useful and of a rather high quality, while not being geeky or pretensious.
You can use the extremely large database of startup programmes (see the tab at the top of the page, Startup List) to determine whether each is needed, optional, or should be killed. And there are many excellent Tutorials that discuss various computer security topics; reading these should provide a solid basis for the understanding of how to keep your computer secure.
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.