Ron asked: “I have an iMac and I would like to know, in order to get complete protection, what software do I need to install on the computer? Antivirus, malware, etc. As a gift, I would like to have the Parallels for Mac. And would I also need protective software for the Windows?”
If you want an antivirus, you’re mostly looking at the same options as Windows. BitDefender, Panda, F-Secure, Avast, Kaspersky, McAffee, and Trend Micro all have Mac versions.
In terms of antimalware, again, you’re looking at the same options you know for Windows, Malware Bytes, and Adaware both have versions for Mac.
Other than that, basically leave it alone and let it do it’s own thing. Mac OS X doesn’t have a registry, it doesn’t slow down over time, and most software that claims to help can only really hurt. Just keep it updated.
You do need protective software for Windows even if you run it under Parallels, it’s still a full, regular Windows installation, so by all means get antivirus software and keep your Windows updated and patched to eliminate any potential for unpleasantness. Treat any installation under Parallels the way you’d treat a native installation.
There is a common misconception about Macs that they are immune to computer viruses and malware. Nothing of the sort is true. They have not been as large of a target as the installed base of Windows computers, but the increasing popularity of Apple computers has worked against it in this regard. This year alone there have been two fairly high profile malware exploits targeting Macs. So protecting yourself isn’t a silly notion, it’s wise.
Mark Lautenschlager, our resident gaming nerd who is also an IT professional that uses Macs in his business, recommends ESET Cyber Security. It’s not free, it costs $40 per year for a license, but the AV testing agencies show that it has caught 100% of all Mac AND Windows malware and viruses, and it has a very light system footprint, meaning that it doesn’t slow the computer down while it’s running.
We’re sure that somewhere among this list of suggestions you’ll find one that works for you! Good luck.