Sidestepping the Potential Pitfalls of QR Codes

Like any advance in technology and social media, all of the positives will inadvertently come with a few negatives. QR Codes are no different. With all of the convenience they can offer, they also come with the potential for harm.

If you plan on using QR codes for ant sort of promotions in the future, you should be aware of some of the downsides that can come with them. When used correctly, QR codes are obviously great; but when designed and implemented by those with less than honest intent, they can become quite dangerous.

Open Source Threat:
Open source content can be great for developers but a major headache for people that are just trying to scan the QR and read the applicable content. If you go to any app store, you’ll find a multitude of QR code readers, all of them trying to improve the user experience. While this variety is great, you must also consider the fact that none of the major phone manufacturers have yet to offer a native or stationary app on their phones. This means that users are basically forced to select QR scanners and readers on a whim and hoping it achieves the desired results.

“Attagging”:
This not-so lovely term is the name given to the act of intentionally transmitting malicious bits of code into QR codes. Because QR codes can be created by almost anyone that knows the basics, this makes it easy for those with ill-intent to put malware or a similar virus into the code, ensuring that anyone who scans it will infect their phone. This would open up your entire phone—from contacts to GPS data—to less than reputable parties.
Of course, the bad side of QR codes is not nearly as popular as the good side. However, as they continue to gain popularity, it can be guaranteed that hackers and their ilk will continue to find new ways to use them as well.

However, if you only use QR codes from sources, sites, or business you know and trust, you stand a much better chance of remaining unaffected by a “tainted” QR code.