The omnipresence of QR codes is known to all. You see QR codes on product packaging, newspaper ads, brochures, billboards, TV ads, and pretty much everywhere.
But with the prevalence of QR codes, QR code security risks have also cropped up. Phishing scams, malicious websites, data leakage, and other threats have encouraged people to think twice before scanning a QR code.
This guide will delve deep into QR code security risks, including how users can avoid them and tips for businesses to enhance QR code security.
Let’s get started.
Common risks associated with QR code security
QR code security risks can take various forms. Here are some common risks to watch out for:
In a phishing scam, scammers may use QR codes to lead you to a fake website and trick you into sharing sensitive information. This could include your usernames, passwords, credit card details, and more.
Scammers can use QR codes to exploit your smartphone’s vulnerabilities and access your applications, call records, messages, and other critical data.
Attackers may use QR codes to lead you to malicious websites and infect your device with malware, spyware, ransomware, etc.
Counterfeit QR codes
Counterfeit QR codes are fake QR codes made to look like legitimate ones. But instead of sending you to the desired website or information, they lead you to malicious websites.
When you scan a QR code to reach a website or download a file, your data can be compromised. There’s no problem if the website is trusted. But your data can be at risk if it’s a malicious site.
Fake payment requests
QR codes enable seamless digital payments. People can make an online payment from their smartphones by scanning a payment QR code. However, this convenience also poses a risk. Scammers can use QR codes to generate fake payment requests and steal money.
How can users protect themselves from QR code security risks?
If you’re an end-user, here are a few precautions to take to avoid QR code security risks.
Be cautious and aware
Cautiousness is the best way to avoid QR code scams and reduce security risks. Avoid scanning random QR codes, and scan one only if you must. And more importantly, scan a QR code only if you believe it’s legit.
Use a good QR code scanner
Though your QR code scanner isn’t a security concern, you should use a trusted QR code scanner. Avoid using a scanner with many ads or requiring too many permissions.
Check the URL before opening
This step is crucial. For most QR codes, a URL will pop up when you scan them. Look at the URL carefully and open it only if you trust it.
Keep your smartphone up-to-date
Regularly update your smartphone’s software to get the latest security features. Old phones with outdated software are more vulnerable to security risks.
How can businesses enhance QR code security?
If you’re using QR codes for business, here are some steps to enhance QR code security and provide a secure user experience.
Use secure QR code generators
One of the most important elements of QR code security is using a secure QR code generator. Pick a QR code platform with all the security features needed to help create safe and secure QR codes.
Redirect to a secure webpage
The next step is redirecting users to a secure website or web page. Ensure that the site or page you bring users to is SSL-certified so that their data remains safe.
Collect minimal information
If you want users to submit some information about scanning the QR code, avoid collecting too much information. Moreover, it’s best not to collect sensitive information, like passwords, OTPs, PINs, and credit card information.
Be transparent regarding data collection and usage
Be upfront about the user data you collect and have access to when users scan your QR code. Mention clearly what information you collect and how you use it. This will increase transparency and build trust.
QRCodeChimp: The gold standard of QR code security
If you’re looking for a secure QR code management platform, QRCodeChimp is the only solution to look at.
With security and data privacy as the pillars of development, QRCodeChimp ensures you and your users engage without worrying about safety concerns.
Here are some key security features to implement:
- Best-in-class privacy
- Threat-detection safeguard
- Access control
- Multi-factor authentication
- Data encryption
- Network and application firewalls
- Intrusion detection
- Disaster recovery
- Process monitoring
- Quality assurance
So, sign up for QRCodeChimp today and secure your phygital campaigns.
The security risks of QR codes can’t be overlooked. Users must be cautious when interacting with QR codes and scan only the ones they trust.
On the other hand, businesses need to take the necessary steps to provide a secure experience to their users.
When you use QRCodeChimp, you don’t need to worry about QR code security. Our solution takes care of all your security needs, allowing you to engage your users in a safe environment.