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parallels security

4080 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2013 6:16 AM by GoGas38 RSS
DannyyB Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Feb 9, 2012 10:27 PM

     I recenty installed Parallels 7 and Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro version X 10.7.2

 

I am scared to surf the web in the windows Parallel because I may get a virus and it will corrupt my entire machine.  Can anyone provide me with more information on the security and likleyhood that this would happen?  Also, what is a good anti-virus program that I should download for Windows, then mac?  Is there one that will protect both systems?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • OrangeMarlin Level 5 Level 5 (5,130 points)
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    Feb 9, 2012 10:42 PM (in response to DannyyB)

    First of all, this is a forum for the MacBook Pro hardware.  You should really take your question to the Parallels website, or to the Windows forum, here:

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/community/windows_software/windows_compatibility

     

    At any rate, all those nasty things on the Windows side cannot come over to the Mac side.  Just erase the partition if some malware comes through.  Even the worst Windows virus is not a mechanical thing that hurts your motherboard, RAM or anything else.

  • chris Techead Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 1:45 AM (in response to OrangeMarlin)

    mac doesnt need a antivirus but for parrels download like avg or norten but warning norten is a big file

  • BobTheFisherman Level 6 Level 6 (10,570 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 7:48 AM (in response to DannyyB)

    You need to protect Windows. Install Microsoft Security Essentials on your Windows from within Windows.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 8:27 AM (in response to DannyyB)

    I disagree with the other posters in that you do not need to use any anti virus program on the Windows install in Parallels.

    Just don't use it to surf the Web. Use Windows on the Mac for programs that are not Mac compatible, IE Windows only Programs.

     

    You bought a Mac. It has a very good operating system on it, Mac OS X. It has its own Web Browser built in, Safari, and you can get Google Chrome or Firefox to use in OS X.

     

    If you wanted to use a Windows Based Web Browser, like Internet Eplorer, then you should of bought a PC notebook, Not a Mac.

  • BobTheFisherman Level 6 Level 6 (10,570 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 8:51 AM (in response to Shootist007)

    IMHO. Security is absolutely necessary for the Windows installation.

     

    Even if the user does not use IE to browse the Internet, Windows will still be connecting to the Internet for its own updates, and any programs the user is using will likely connect to the Internet for their respective updates.

     

    The original poster said they are scared to surf the web from within Windows, so it is safe to assume they wish to do so. Surfing the web is something we can expect people who install Windows to do. So once again, security running within Windows is absolutely necessary.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 9:03 AM (in response to BobTheFisherman)

    Bob I have been running Windows based computers for years with no anti virus software installed and have never gotten a virus or malware of any type. That is not to say Windows is immune to these problems but it all depends on how you use it.

    There is simply no way for Windows to become infected with anything if it is not used for web browsing or getting and opening emails.

     

    99% of all viruses and other infections need some type of user interaction.

  • BobTheFisherman Level 6 Level 6 (10,570 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 9:14 AM (in response to Shootist007)

    OK, but I think Windows can get a virus from many methods, not just from the IE browser. A virus can be passed over a network (LAN or WAN), by a USB stick, by file sharing, etc. Just the fact that Windows is connected to a network and not protected makes it a prime target for viruses that sit on a network just waiting for an unprotected Windows computer to connect to that network.

     

    Yes many viruses come from browsing or from email but there are other means of propagation as well.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,505 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 9:56 AM (in response to DannyyB)

    In the Windows Virtual Machine (this is not a "partition") you definitely need an antivirus app. Do not worry about your Mac.

    In Parallels there is a 6-month free Kaspersky antivirus, but do not install this: although a good app in the Windows environment, it is very slow in updating the lists and it will probably install it's mac part too (which you will not).

    Choose a good and free Antivirus app: Avast-free, AVG-free, Avira-free. Install it in Windows and forget about it.

    If you want to harness against malware : there no best solutions but a simple and good one that stops most without digging itself in in your system and without using resources, install Spywareblaster. You do not need to do more (unless of course you go to erotica sites (but then you are lost already ).

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,905 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 10:15 AM (in response to Shootist007)

    Shootist007 wrote:

     

    I disagree with the other posters in that you do not need to use any anti virus program on the Windows install in Parallels.

    Just don't use it to surf the Web. Use Windows on the Mac for programs that are not Mac compatible, IE Windows only Programs.

     

    ...

     

    If you wanted to use a Windows Based Web Browser, like Internet Eplorer, then you should of bought a PC notebook, Not a Mac.

    I'm in almost complete agreement here. My only caveat is that the original poster may need Windows specifically for Internet Explorer for some old, junky web site.

     

    Do your "surfing" on the Mac. Do your e-mail on the Mac. Run Parallels with its default, shared internet settings and the Mac's networking will hide Windows form the rest of the world. If you need IE for something specific, use it for that and nothing else. If you still get a Windows virus after all of that, just restore your Windows VM from backup.

     

    I have run Parallels since the day it came out with no antivirus of any kind - and no viruses.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,505 points)
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    Feb 10, 2012 10:39 AM (in response to etresoft)

    Hi Etresoft:

    I agree partially, and I too run Parallels Desktop from V2, and I run XP and Windows7 (but I only need XP really).

    When you "isolate" Windows VM from the Mac in Parallels, you do not need anything of course, but you need (mostly) the older IE to do your "work" for the applications that you need XP for.

    And in that situation you keep it safe and simple with a good simple AV program.

    I have had intrusions and such when I tried out the "shielding" of Parallels without an AV program. I did not experiment after V5 and so I do not really know if this is still true for the Parallels versions 6 and 7 (which I use now). But a simple free and good AV program that I mentioned will not harm at all and I still am convinced that it is better than delve into the possibilities of Parallels to keep you safe. So I am still standing behind my earlier post. Keep it simple.

  • GoGas38 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 15, 2013 6:16 AM (in response to LexSchellings)

    Lex your posts are helpful.

     

    Just moving to Mac having retried from 25 years + on windows networks at home and work and today is going to be setting up my iMac. I will run Parallels in coherence mode (with common Mac and Windows document file system) with Windows 7 for the few apps that don't have Mac equivalent (e.g. Quo mapping software). Although the risk to Mac is very low there does seem a risk in this situation of at least redistributing to other PC users e.g. infected Word documents that have come from a PC user.

     

    Installing free Avast or similar on the Windows VM seems sensible in this situation. The one issue I am unclear on is if the docx documnets are infected but in the shared coherence file system but edited in Windows 2010 in coherent mode will Sophos for the Mac identify them?

     

    Thanks

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