First of all... I just want to give a big *TWO THUMBS UP* to TechSpot. I've used you guys a few times before and the responses have always been fast, friendly and supportive. These forums are truly a beautiful thing in this exponentially growing digital civilization. I seriously thank you for your generosity and your patience as I no longer let my computer ruin my day completely knowing you guys are still around for help. <3 to you all. Once again, I kneel to you experts and humbly ask for your help... My World of Warcraft account was hijacked out from under me, my myspace spams infected bulletins and programs like Ventrilo and Microsoft Word are experiencing errors, or windows no longer can locate them. I have a buddy on my AOL instant messanger list from college who's extremely smart with computers, but I don't think he respects the privacy as much as the thrill he gets from his affair with his computer. I have a lot of pictures, movies and music that I would like to keep as I have been collecting them for a long time. I'm worried that if I save them to CD blindly without scanning first, the files will carry the virii over into my reformatted computer. Question 1) Is there a recommended way to figure out which piece of media (picture/movie/song) has a virii embedded in it? How would you recommend I backup these media files, or is the only true way to keep a computer clean... to keep it empty? Question 2) After I have backed up any files, or cried long enough about the fact that I'm about to lose them all, are there any specific steps I should take before/durring reformatting all my hard drives to ensure nothing dangerous remains? Question 3) My computer is on a network with my 3 roommates who download and have 0 protection on thier computers. The pop-ups they have on thier computer tell me that they are infected as well. Is there a way to safeguard my computer from other computers on my network? "Our" network is password protected from the neighbors, but if my roommates are infected and the network is comprimized... I would really like a last defense ability for my personal privacy. Question 4) I read the sticky on Anti-Virus Protection software and the ones you recommended and noticed that a few people recommended using multiple AV software. I also used to use a program called BlackIce that allowed me to monitor all traffic on my computer. Unfortunately, I cannot shell out a ton of money for programs at this time, but I am very interested in how to "TOTAL LOCKDOWN" a computer in this day and age. I'm wondering if you guys have any ideas to progressively lock down my computer as paychecks come in... Stage 1) XXXX Antivirus and YYYY Firewall / Stage 2) ZZZZ firewall and OOOO email scanner... etc. Question 5) Any other extra information that you think would be useful like rotating passwords every so often, or specific reading material on the matter would be appreciated. The internet is growing really fast and getting more and more dangerous, I do not want to be left behind and clueless for an easy kill. I have read a lot of posts on these forums that were enlightening, but I am really looking for that straight shot complete protection method as I am not comfurtable putting all the different thread information together and Securing my system based on my intuition. Thank you in advance to anyone that helps me and I appologise for any spelling errors, I do not have a functioning program with spell check.