Siggyx, you are soooo right!
The malware of today is very powerful. It use to be OK to run scans weekly or bi-monthly, but that just won't work anymore. The point of running scans is to catch the stuff early and prevent your machine from building up the number of malware. Malware beacons out to the web and alerts rogue websites and other malware about your security flaws. The build-up continues until your loaded. When this happens, you have lost control of your machine and that means ~ IT'S NOT YOUR MACHINE ANYMORE. The scum-writers own your hardware, which just became a heap of junk, if you can not clean it of infection.
As a Consultant and Network Administrator, I have watched machines go downhill in a day or two. Everyone needs to step up the scans. If you only go to a few trusted sites a few hours a week, then you could run them every few weeks, but a busy surfer roaming the world, on the web, needs them more. I train my clients to forget the days, focus on the hours online. When you shut your infected machine down, the malware can get a better grip on your system. Some malware will hide and use your machine for attacks on others, and you may not see signs of infection right away. Others will show up right away. Below is the rule around here. We also have many default settings tweaked to add better defenses as well. Some people will think it is excessive, but when you have Attorneys (clients) roaming the globe, They pick up a lot of strange stuff!
1) ‘Scan’ for Adware, Spyware and all Malware DAILY.
2) Clean your ‘Temporary Internet files’ and ‘History list’ every 3 Days.
3) Clear your ‘SSL state’ every 3 Days.
4) Clear your ‘Java files’ in your Java console every 3 Days
5) Empty the ‘Recycle bin’ every 3 Days.
6) ‘Defrag’ your hard Drive every 5 Days.
7) ‘Scan’ for Viruses and Trojans every 4 Days.
8) ‘Degauss’ your monitor by turning it off completely and back on, every 5 Days.
9) ‘Completely turn off’ your machine every 5 Days. This is different than re-starting. When you re-start, it does not shut down 100%
Along with everything listed, I use McAfee SecuritySuite, HiJackThis!, JV16 PowerTools, FireFox browser, Ad-Aware, Spybot Search & Destroy, Microsoft AntiSpyware and Webroot Spy Sweeper. I check for updates for all of the software and hardware weekly.
With this set-up, my clients work hard, and I get to sleep at night!