QR codes are increasingly being used, especially during the holidays. Businesses use them to promote deals, access menus, and even provide contactless payment options. However, QR codes can also be used for malicious purposes. Cybercriminals are creating fake QR codes that can lead you to phishing websites, download malware onto your device, or even steal your personal information.
Here are some tips for staying safe while using QR codes:
- Only scan QR codes from trusted
sources. If you don't know who created the
QR code, don't scan it. Be especially wary of QR codes that are
posted in public places or that you receive from unsolicited emails or
- Use a QR code scanner app that
has security features. Some QR code scanner apps
can detect malicious QR codes. Look for an app that has a good
reputation and that has been reviewed by security experts.
- Inspect the QR code before
scanning it. Make sure the QR code looks
legitimate and that it is not damaged or distorted.
- Hover your mouse over the QR code
before clicking it. If you are scanning the QR
code with a web browser, hover your mouse over the QR code to see the
URL it links to. If the URL looks suspicious, do not click on
- Be careful about what information
you share. If you are asked to enter
personal information, such as your name, email address, or
credit card number, after scanning a QR code, do not enter the
- Keep your devices and software up
to date. This will help to protect
your devices from malware and other security threats.
In addition to these tips, you should also be aware of the following common QR code scams:
- Phishing scams: These scams use QR codes to direct you to
fake websites that look like legitimate websites. Once you enter your
personal information on these websites, cybercriminals can steal it.
- Malware scams: These scams use QR codes to download malware
onto your device. Malware can steal your personal
information, track your activity, and even take control of your
- Payment scams: These scams use QR codes to collect payment
information. Cybercriminals can then use this information to make
unauthorized charges to your account.
By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from QR code
scams and stay safe while using QR codes during the holidays.
- If you are unsure about a QR
code, do not scan it.
- Report any suspicious QR codes to
the appropriate authorities.
- Stay informed about the latest QR
By being aware of the risks and taking precautions, you can enjoy the
convenience of QR codes without putting your security at risk.
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