Am I exposing my Mac to security issues if I run Windows via Parallels?

Christopher Webb-Orenstein November 29, 2012

What are the best anti-viruses that I can run on Parallel? Is there anything major that I should be aware of?

  1. Gerhard Tinned
    January 21, 2013 at 11:28 am

    If you are concerned about security there are 2 things. firewalls and anti virus software. A nice free firewall tool for mac where you can make sure that all the ports are closed is called WaterRoof ( and a and stable anti virus software (actualy its a Internet Security suite) isavailable for free from Comodo (

  2. Vivek Yadav
    January 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    running antivirus for windows on parallels is not a gud option coz it ll make ur system even slow...use macafee if u need it badly...

  3. Austin Halsell
    December 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    If you have Parallels preferences set up to isolate the Windows VM from the OS X then this should not be an issue. However, the VM is still subject to viruses and should be set up with some sort of virus protection. ha14's link to the Parallels user guide will help you set it up using Kasperkey, but I believe any anti-virus software for Windows should do the trick.

  4. Giggity Goebbels
    December 10, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Most probably no

  5. Ramón García
    December 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Don't worry. Windows virus doesn't affect Mac.

  6. Adam Campbell
    December 2, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Don't worry about it. Use Microsoft Security essentials on the windows image and you'll be fine. Even though windows users cringe when you say it, you really aren't going to get a virus on a mac, let alone coming through a windows virtual image.

  7. Nikhil Goswami
    November 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    You can have a mac antivirus setup.

  8. Jan Fritsch
    November 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

    It is unlikely that a virus or malware from Windows will infect your Mac as they are usually not that sophisticated to run on both platforms.

    But of course they can "nest" themselves into any file on your Mac which the virtual machine has access to and then spread e.g. via an email attachment to other people.

    You should at least install an anti-virus within the virtual machine or better, a Mac anti-virus software that also detects Windows malware.

    • Vishal Srivastava
      December 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Agree and just want to add that if you keep your Windows not connected to Network and your shared folders and shared clipboard options off, it should reduce the risk to the minimum...

  9. ha14
    November 30, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Setting Up Virus Protection
    Parallels Desktop allows you to install the antivirus software powered by Kaspersky on your Mac and in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 virtual machines with Parallels Tools installed. This antivirus software is provided with a free activation key for 90 days. When the trial period expires, you can purchase a permanent activation key.

    well to keep safe windows then antivirus is needed, mac potential of catching an infection is minor

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