Beware of Hackers Using QR Codes

As is the case with any sort of technology that becomes widespread, hackers and others with ill intent are using QR codes to get a consumer’s personal information. This can be done by sending the user to a “phishing” site or somewhere else undesirable.

Like malware and infected sites, some of these malicious QR codes can be difficult to locate. Therefore, it’s important to know how to stay safe. Keep these pointers in mind when before you aimlessly scan that next QR code.

Always Use Caution: Most scanner apps will let you see the URL for the page that the QR code is supposed to send you to. It then asks if you trust the site. Many people choose the “Don’ Ask This Question Again” feature (or something similar). It is actually safest to always check the URL to make sure it is one that looks legit.

Never Give Your Personal Information: This is actually a good rule of thumb for most internet transactions as well. Unless you know with absolute certainty that the site you have been sent to via the QR code is safe, secure, and legitimate, you should never provide your personal information. Furthermore, if you see a page that asks for this information, you should also ignore any further links on the page. IN most cases, QR codes generally don’t lead to pages that ask for ths type of information so if you see any, you should use extreme caution.

Be Aware: One tactic many hackers and attackers have been using is to place their own stickers over the QR codes on real posters. This has been particularly noted in large venue events such as concerts. If you ever see a QR code on a poster that looks as if it has been placed on like a sticker, avoid them at all costs.

For the most part, QR codes remain safe for consumers. As long as you use common sense and a degree of caution when it comes to unfamiliar sources, you should be okay in most instances.