Scanning a suspicious QR code? Beware! Check these tips | Tech News

Scanning a suspicious QR code? Beware! Check these tips

Dealing with QR codes? Know what you should keep in mind before letting cybercriminals access your data via malicious QR codes.

| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 23:15 IST
QR codes
QR codes can store malicious links and websites which can be used to steal your data. (Bloomberg)

It seems like you think about a tech feature, and scammers are ready to shoot malicious acts via using that! Whether it is about Gmail, shopping sites, social media, and now even QR (Quick Response) codes are being the target of online fraudsters to scam the users via releasing malicious links inside it. A new tool for scammers to breach your phone privacy!

Your easy-to-scan to scan QR codes, which are being used from magazines, newspapers, payment options, and even as an advertisement tool so that customers can easily scan the promo codes or offers. But now, these easy-to-use tech features are now being in action but for the wrong purpose by scammers. Cybercriminals have now seen the potential to spread malware, steal identity, and access your personal information. No doubt, QR codes can make the information more accessible in a short span of time but can pose a threat to your personal information too.

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QR (Quick Response) or quick virus?

As the QR code, a matrix barcode that carries text or URLs to help you easily scan the code to get the information in no time can actually serve you malicious URL without even letting you know. The downside of a QR code is that you don't know what remains inside it until you scan it. Once you scan it, it can direct you to a website, video, message, apps, email, or URL to download the content. And in case of malicious QR codes, it may ask you to download apps or visit websites containing a virus or a type of malware that can leak your calendars, contacts, and bank account details to cybercriminals. Many times, these websites may ask you to provide your Google or Facebook login ID, which may unknowingly access your personal information. Additionally, once cybercriminals get into your system, they can track your location, send SMS to rack up your phone bill.

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How to spot malicious QR Codes?

  • Avoid scanning suspicious QR codes. You can use a mobile QR code scanning app that provides you a preview of the URLs.
  • Also, avoid opening shortened links, unless they are being transmitted by credible sources.
  • Random QR codes on the wall? Never scan them! These QR codes can be generated by anyone, and people tend to scan these codes out of curiosity. But beware! Cybercriminals are aware of it. Hence, most of the fake and malicious QR codes are available at such places which are more accessible to people.
  • Using Android? Be more careful then. As Android is an open platform, that's why most scammers target Android users via malicious QR codes. Make sure your Android device is up-to-date.

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First Published Date: 13 Jan, 15:47 IST