With DSL (new user) you can remain online all the time unless you power off or standby. Is the risk any greater for hacking, breakin, and all the nastys that can happen by just leaving your PC always online. ? I usually shut down at bedtime. Am I being too afraid?
Thanks for the input.

Well there is always a risk, when you are not using it you can just disconnect the net/disable the Lan(Start/Conect to/show all connections/THEN right click on Local area connection and select disable, enable it when you wanna use again)

If you leave the Pc on for downloading purposes like me then just install a firewall, it'll not ensure the best protection but thats the most you can do..
There are some good free ones Available :
ZoneAlarm Firewall 8.0.065

Comodo Internet Security 3.9.95478.509

PC Tools Firewall Plus Free Edition 4

The more you are exposed to something, the greater the risk will be. This is the same theory that goes behind people who do welding for nuclear power plants, they are only allowed to be exposed for no more than 6 hours at a time, 3 days a week, or they would likely get radiation poisoning. As such, you should determine when to remove your computer based on how often you spend online. If you are actually on your computer 10-12 hours a day, leaving your computer on another 4-5 hours won't likely protect you from attacks, however if your only on 4-5 hours, leaving your computer on an additional 12 hours is very likely to expose you more than it would otherwise.

I would recommend just keeping up to date on the latest windows patches and anti-virus/malware software, in addition to the software recommended above to keep your computer safe.

sounds like a deal. have system suite 6 for doing all the fix/clean/virus/spy hecking and works good so far and use a firewall. gonna try that disconnect idea too. thanks.
I figured this would be the case, just wondered how you all felt.

Your sys is totally safe from intrusion with a decent firewall running.
On the other hand... why waste the electricity? Think of the earth, just a little bit.