Today's computing experience is full of risks, with patches and security software moving too slowly to keep up. Cruising the Internet is like sharing a toothbrush with a tobacco chewer; you never know what you'll wind up getting out of the deal.
By now, you've noticed the articles that point out the gap between the attacks and their security solutions. Patches take time to develop, to test, and to implement. Security software? Forget about it. Few PDF and Flash attacks are caught by security software. Even viruses may or may not be detected and stopped by your fav' antivirus.
Yet in this world, your precioussssss privacy, data, and computer are often p0wned by a whole host of criminals.
It's NOT your fault. Perfectly secure coding is a pipedream. People are imperfect. Coders are people, kind of. There are too many lines of code to check. READ the great Informit articles on coding security.
Although computers have always been under attack, the attacks and their intensity grew with the creation of the Internet. Remember the good ol' days? You worried about a few thousand floppy viruses. Today's signatures must wade through at least 100K viral types (and this does not take into account those apps that simply take advantage of laughable security architectures).
Step 1 to Greater Enlightenment is this: Realise that a trip to the Internet, no matter how brief, is very, very risky. Even security update services can be the window through which the criminals attack.
Think I'm wrong? Prove it. Double-dog dare you to sound off in the response box. Until then, realise this, there must needs be a gap between browsing and other computing.