Are QR Codes Dangerous?


QR codes become a popular means of information storage and exchange in our daily lives. Many of us are now using the codes to distribute information for different purposes including paying restaurant bills, entering hotel rooms, getting services in hospitals, and purchasing products from a department store. Especially the use of this convenient technology surged with the pandemic.

Credit: teiss

However, these innocent codes are simply a way to store data and are not inherently dangerous. But the exploitation and misuse of QR codes could be risky in several ways. Many hackers use QR codes as an attack vector.

Credit: malwarebytes

The most common ways to increase the threat are visiting the QR code’s URL or checking the links associated with QR codes. After clicking the URLs stored in QR codes it will take you to the phishing website that prompts you to enter a username or password for another website. Cybercriminals often use phishing emails containing QR codes to conduct a malware attack.

We often use QR codes for carrying out transactions and paying bills. Especially during the covid-19 pandemic, many countries promoted “no-contact” communication and information exchange strategies that ultimately encourage the usage of QR codes. But at the same time, it influences financial theft activities.

Credit: kaspersky

To maintain securities with QR codes you have to scan QR codes only from trusted sources. It is also wise to use primarily third-party scanners that display the site link. So, you can see the content before opening them. Furthermore, you can update the device security regularly to ensure maximum safety from malicious activity.