Cheap Tablets – Good for Your Pocket, Bad for Your Security

There was a time when people used to hunt turkeys for Thanksgiving. Fast forward to today and you see people hunting for deals on holidays, like the upcoming Christmas season, Boxing Day specials and New Year deals. Since we live in technology-rich times, the majority of shoppers hunt for deals on electronic gadgets, like cheap computer tablets.
 

Cheap Tablets = Online Security Disasters

While these cheap tablets are undoubtedly bad for your personal privacy and data, it makes matters even worse when the same tablets are brought into offices for enterprise use.

Bluebox Security’s lead security analyst, Andrew Blaich, tested and scored some of the cheapest tablets sold on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the results are horrific, to say the least.
 

Problems Discovered with Cheap Tablets

Some of the problems discovered with the device were: USB debugging turned on by default; a pre-installed security backdoor; and four other major security vulnerabilities namely Masterkey, FakeID, Heartbleed and Futex.

One cheap tablet in particular had so many issues that the security firm wasn’t even able to score it properly. Besides, the security firm also tested several other tablets that were priced between $39 to $69 that were available at all the major leading retail stores and found them as "semi-trustable".

The same security firm also tested a $99 Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, and to nobody’s surprise, the tablet passed all the necessary security check points. This just goes to show that sometimes spending a little more indeed goes a long way and helps you avoid many security risks with cheap tablets.
 

Key Learning

Just because you bought a tablet from a trusted retailer doesn’t mean you can trust the tablet itself. The retailers don’t test these tablets on their own; they just want to offer the best deal to their customers. Unfortunately, the best deal offered by them isn’t in the best interest of their customers’ online security.

If you have already bought a cheap tablet then we recommend that you immediately take the following 2 steps:

     1. Install and run an anti-malware on your tablet to root out any malicious apps.
     2. Install a good VPN on your tablet and always keep it connected.

Laziness on your part can, and most probably will, result in a huge loss, a loss much bigger than the money you saved on a cheap-tablet deal. 
 

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