i was reading the topics in softwearworld untill some replies to a post of mine came in, and saw this site in one topic brilliant Webpage .
the point of this post is this site checks your computer for vunrabilaty and as i was running norton 2004 pro i thought i was rock solid so you can imagin how shocked i was at how vunrable my computer was to attack from the internet, it showed all my files and other things on my computer then testing some more with this site i found two ports completely open due to microsoft xp, i then closed these two port with my firewall and a small free program supplied via the site, retested and it came back as full protection and all port in stelth mode.
so the moral is do not presume you are safe always check.
i recomend this site it is brill
ps i probably have one of the safest computer on the net now thanks to Steve Gibson the site owner.