This is simply an FYI post, or "This is what I use and have suggested to those who ask my opinion."

Some will disagree and have good reasons for it. I do not suggest this as the "be all, end all, if you do this you will never have problems." This is a set-up I use on Windows, OS X, Linux and any other operating system I may run and need to browse the web.

I use FireFox with NoScript and Adblock Plus.

This will not save you from everything! This is not a bullet-proof browsing shield! This will prevent a lot of objects (flash, javascript, etc) from auto-loading and require a lot of manual intervention to view multimedia websites.

I have 64-bit Vista Home Prem and was using IE7, which is the default for Vista. But it had problems locking up while surfing the web, so I installed Firefox (32-bit version). I have not had any problems at all with it. I'm now installing AdBlock Plus per your recommendation.