Finally - an end to panic attacks
I was having up to six kernel panics per day, and a day without one was a rarity. I was becoming very angry with Apple because OS X is supposed to allow a product to crash without bringing down the whole system, but kernel panics do just that – white screen, and goodbye! I had always taken a screen snapshot of the diagnostics and sent them to Apple, just in case, but the mass of hexadecimal strings and register names was meaningless to me. Finally, after enduring three months of this aggravation, I looked through the reams of diagnostic records to see if there was something an amateur such as myself could understand, and I found this: “BSD process name corresponding to current thread: <name>”.
I soon discovered that ‘<name>’ was always the same and that it belongs to a product that I had paid for: a virus-checking and general ‘security’ system to keep my Mac in top condition! I used AppZapper to remove the entire product from my system. That was in April, this year, and I have not had a kernel panic since. Worse than a virus possibly? Sid Green Definitely. Especially when you consider that there still aren’t any actual viruses for OS X out ‘in the wild’. Certainly you will occasionally read about a theoretical vulnerability or a proof-of-concept virus created by researchers. But an actual virus that you or I are ever likely to catch? There are none. I have several Macs and do quite a lot of medium-risk things with them as part of my work. Things like installing third-party utilities from places other than the Mac App Store, for example. But I don’t buy drugs or weapons on the dark web and I don’t download pirate movies on BitTorrent.
I’ve never installed a virus scanner on any of my Macs and I’ve never had a virus, trojan or worm. Neither has almost anyone else, of course, but many will nevertheless install anti-virus software on their Macs just to be on the safe side. Except that you’re not playing it safe if the anti-virus software itself is a leading cause of system instability.
At best it will protect you from a non-existent threat. At worst, it causes kernel panics. It’s a very unpopular opinion and I catch a lot of heat for it, but I believe that anti-virus software does more harm than good even on Windows PCs. On the Mac, using it basically amounts to superstition.