Are you sure they clean viruses you didn’t know you had, or do they install ransomware?
Please don’t be installing rando programs from “free” USB sticks.
Plenty of free anti-malware stuff out there directly from the source. A download will always be the most current. The built-in Windows anti-malware/anti-virus is actually decent.
Malwarebytes, Avast, ESET, Kaspersky, Symantec, IOBit are all fine options.
Most have expanded to include a browser plug-in that scans what your browser is loading for “drive-by” threats and sketchy sites.
Other helpful features are privacy extensions like Ghostery to block tracking cookies and such, however that often breaks ad-supported TV network streaming sites like cbs.com and nbc.com. But you can pause it for those sites or just trust that site.
@PooltoyWolf never plug a usb into any computer that is not a blank usb from a reputable source.
You can load free programs that do bootscans after if you need one but that’s a common feature of antivirus/antimakware software and you should know you need to do it because you are already screwed. At that point I sometimes just recover files and do a full wipe to be on the safe side on a compromised system.
These types of devices are
a) temporally disadvantaged, as they’re running software using scripts generated by automation software, so keeping the tools/apps current is an issue and
b) holy shit why would you do this–if I were a malicious actor this is the perfect attack vector. Even if the outdated software issue weren’t a problem, the fact that it would need to be updated means it’s connecting to the internet to do so–which means these things are going to be targeted by every blackhat on the planet.
There are literally products on the market for pentesters (i.e., people who are paid to hack systems to find vulnerabilities) to do EXACTLY this. It seems like spy movie shit, but with containerization and the increase in cross-platform compatibility offered by things like the Windows Subsystem for Linux/Python’s increasing ubiquity? No fucking thank you.