I prefer to do my own updates.
That way I don't have a false sense of security... and I at least have an inkling of what MS is pumping into my machine.
Anyhoo... you definately need a firewall of some sort. At least a software one. I am running a variation of ZoneAlarm Pro, and the hardware firewall in my modem.
I am also running MS Windows Defender, eTrust Pest Patrol, and eTrust antiVirus. I have Spybot and have immunized my system, as well as AdAware. Oh, and I also use Firefox.
My Rig: SABLE
Antec 300 Illusion / Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W / EVGA GTX 760 2GB
AMD FX 8320 x8 Black Edition / Gelid Tranquillo / MSI 970A-G43
Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB / Samsung 840 120GB / WD Black 750GB / WD Green 1TB / WD Red 3TB
G.SKILL Ripjaws 2x2GB DDR3 1600 - Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2x2GB DDR3 1600
Win7 Ult 64-bit - Func MS3 Mouse - CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mech Keyboard
R.I.P. Danny L. Trotter
... 14 Nov 1945 - 4 Sept 2009