Not all exactly "programs" but general tips:
1. Turn on the firewall from the GUI already built into Mint. (Administration>Firewall configuation)
2. Don't use the root account (if you made one) for normal activities, don't ever start a web browser with sudo/gksu.
3. If you feel the need to scan for Windows viruses install clamav + the clamtk GUI or avast antivirus.