New M2 Mac set up

Hello all!
It’s been a long time since purchasing a new Mac and I wanted to get the latest recommendations on malware/AV software if any before I set up my new Mac. I have used Malwarebytes in the past to do manual scans, but want to start of on the right foot with the new Mac before I use it. Any advice?

Maybe, I’m wrong but I’ve never used any malware or antivirus on my macs (user since 2007). I do turn on the firewall and enable stealth mode. I run spamseive and only open attachments in emails I know are good. I don’t visit non-secure websites nor dodgy ones. This has served me well.


I should add that I’ve recently started using nextdns to filter out more suspect stuff.

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Same here, on my personal macs I’ve never used any AV tools. My corporate MBP runs the Sophos suite, which heavily impacted performance on an older 2013 MBP but on a newer M1 Max is basically transparent, guess the new AS has more cycles to spare.

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So have I, but I don’t run any AV full time. I keep my devices up to date and try to stay informed about current threats.

Two good sources for info (IMO) are and

I’m another person who doesn’t use AV software and is careful about opening attachments and other potential virus vectors. Never had any problems with my personal systems (Mac or Windows), only a couple of times with Windows systems at work with virus laden attachments from coworkers (not the outside world).

+1 that no AV is still a best practice on macOS.

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Personally, I don’t use anything but when it comes to recommendations, I’m undecided. I’m obsessive about keeping stuff up to date and I’m incredibly careful about what I install. I also never double click things to open them.

The vast majority of Mac users that I come across are like the vast majority of other users: They will happily click on anything and frequently skip or delay updates. I’ve seen more than one ransomware attempt be thwarted by “AV” (dislike the term) software on Macs.

When asked this question I usually answer with the question, “How obsessed are you with keeping your software and OS up to date?” It’s not perfect but I’ve found it to be a good indicator of someone’s general level of security savvy and (on Macs) a reasonable indicator of whether someone should run some sort of AV software.


As someone who has spent almost all of my working life using Windows (I did use OS/2 for a time!) and who has first hand lived through a security breach and has former colleagues who suffered through a ransomware attack, I fully understand the need to feel secure.

And while I once did have a virus infect my Mac, it was when I was using a 512KE (IIRC, and I may not, it was likely the Wdef virus). I’ve been using Macs for quite some time, and other than the occasional browser adware install have had no issues since then.

Like others, I do not run any third party anti-virus software on a regular basis. I have at times used tools like Malwarebytes to run scans.

And note that macOS has security tools, including AV tools, built in. The Eclectic Light Company site has information on these tools.

Objective-See has a number of security tools available that may provide peace of mind (as well as protection).

A tool like Little Snitch or LuLu, from the aforementioned Objective-See, provides a way to see, and control, outgoing connections.

While none of these tools are required, you will need to consider your level of comfort. None appear to use significant resources nor slow machines down.

And just as important for ensuring a secure system is to be sure to follow the comments from others in the thread including:

  • Don’t visit sketchy websites.
  • Only download files or apps from sources you verify as trustworthy.
  • Only open attachments from known senders (and even then double check).
  • Keep your system and application software up to date.
  • Have a complete backup system.

Just be diligent and smart and enjoy your new Mac.

I have had Malwarebytes for a while and it has never detected anything. Firewall up, VPN when possible and should be good to go. #omo #imo