About QR Code
QR code is a matrix barcode that allows the users to access special coupons, open company links, avail special discounts, learn about a company’s product or service, and so much more. To use a QR code, you will have to first download a QR code scanner application on your smartphone. After installing the application on your smartphone, you will have to use your smartphone camera to scan and decode the QR code box message.
A Survey on QR Codes
The majority of the people prefer to scan QR codes for performing necessary actions like opening a URL etc. QR codes can be easily found in areas where people live and work. A survey was conducted to determine where people scan QR codes the most. The research found that one-third of the respondents scanned QR codes at restaurants, retailers, and product packaging. On the other hand, very few of the respondents scanned at recreational places (cinemas, etc.), financial institutions, hospitals, gyms, and during their journey.
Dangers Associated with QR Codes
- Cybercriminals use QR codes to inject malware into your smartphone. As soon as you scan an infected QR Code, it will take you to the infected website, which will trigger the malware to download. One common way of sending a malicious QR code is through email, which may seem to be legitimate.
- A hacker may lead you to a phishing site for gaining access to your personal information or the credentials of your social media accounts. Detecting phishing websites is extremely difficult because the URL these websites use is similar to the URL of an authentic website. What they do is that change “.com” to “.org”. In some cases, they switch the spelling of the URL. The attackers use these little changes to fool the user.
- Cybercriminals may also print some encoding tools on the internet for making QR codes. These criminals print the QR code on any adhesive paper and lay it over an authentic QR code or email to any internet user.
- An attacker may place a bug in the QR code scanning application. As soon as you install this application with a bug, it may exploit your smartphone’s camera and other sensors in your phone, resulting in the leakage of your data to the attacker.