Just as people can gain a bad reputation, so can devices. Whenever a computer is used to go on the Internet, websites can detect information about it such as IP address, screen resolution, operating system, browser, and device ID. Secure sites use some of these to monitor the flow of user activity and police those who commit objectionable actions. An example would be trolling on an online forum despite repeated warnings by moderators. Offensive behavior like this can be ground for account suspension or outright permanent ban, depending on the severity. Remorseless individuals will simply register a new account and continue where they left off, so some boards resort to a higher level ban of their device so they can’t use it at all to access the site. While workarounds are still possible, this makes it more difficult for offenders to carry on as before. Device Reputation
A similar method is employed for much more sinister plots. Much of the bank robberies nowadays happen without the use of guns and getaway cars. Thieves prefer the less risky approach of hacking through a bank’s network to find vulnerabilities and trick the system into channeling money into their accounts. This brains-over-brawns method can be accomplished anywhere and allow the perpetrators time to disperse should they be detected. Often, it is only their location and computers that are quickly found so the Device Reputation suffers but the people behind them are harder to track down.
Since these people are running from the law, they will try to dispose of their computers as fast as possible, sometimes selling them for a very low price online. Incredibly low prices on fairly new computers should therefore be seen with caution. When looking for a good deal on secondhand computers, transact only with reputable sellers. Getting a flagged computer with a bad device reputation may cause the new owner to be blocked from certain sites, and arranging for this to be changed can be very difficult to do.