QR codes very practical to share with wifi password to your whatsapp number or instagram account from someone you just met. And little by little he sneaks into the shop windows, advertisements or doors of establishments so that he can download your apps or visit their web pages. What about restaurants and bars that offer their map or menu in digital format using a QR code that can be conveniently scanned with a mobile phone.

But as with short links, QR codes can be used for both good and bad. That is one of safety problems QR codes is that you don’t know where the code will take you until you scan it. This means that you must click on the link to see it in your browser. And then see if what you see is a clothing store page or fake page who wants to steal your details or trick you into entering your credit card details.

Below we will consider different methods which criminals use with QR codes to attack your smartphone. And, of course, let’s see what precautions need to be taken so as not to fall into these traps and not get unpleasant surprises in the form of phone bill too bulky or whatever your personal data and files fall into the wrong hands.

Scanning QR codes is easy, but there are dangers

Scan QR codes and security

We said that a QR code is a code that has the shape square with pixels black and what is it for share information. This information can be a link to a web page, a text message, an image posted on the Internet, a phone number… QR codes are used for making payments, transporting plane tickets, viewing restaurant menus, shopping online. , watch a video advertised on a billboard on the street, in a magazine or newspaper… The possibilities are many.

In addition, scanning QR codes is not something mysterious. Both Android and iOS they integrate into their camera app the detection of this type of codes when you focus on them with your phone’s camera. So when it is found, it shows you link or content are hidden so you can open them in a browser or copy them to your device’s clipboard.

But behind the QR code, there may be a link leading to a fake page. what is known as phishing. A page designed to enter the credentials of the bank, email account, or online store where you usually buy. It may also take you to a page to download a supposedly official app that is actually fake and will infect your phone. Or will it take you to download malware which will install using a security hole in your phone if it is not up to date. Or execute JavaScript code that will do what its creator programmed.

Be careful before scanning unknown QR codes
Credit: Campus Production

Tips on how not to fall for the tricks of QR scammers

To avoid being scanned harmful QR codes There are a few things we can do before we meet him. Basically it’s about be careful as is the case with other methods of deception related to the Internet or your smartphone. To get started, always have your apps and your operating system are up to date. This will prevent rogue or malicious apps from exploiting the security breach to access your phone’s contents.

Second, the most direct way to avoid fake QR code it doesn’t click on the link when you see the preview. Just like you shouldn’t click on a link sent by an unknown SMS, you shouldn’t enter links you don’t know. If you have scanned the QR code of a certain establishment, but the link does not look like this business or has a strange or generic domain, don’t open it in browser.

Whether you’re going to scan QR codes with your camera directly, or you’re using a dedicated app, you’ll see a preview of what the QR code hides. If so, you can search the web for the link and see if it’s already been condemned.

One way to make sure a link is safe is to use HTTPS protocol instead of classic HTTP. If so, you will know that this page is trustworthy, although this does not guarantee 100% that the page is real or a replica.

And finally, an important tip. Do shop online or make payments by digital means, try doing it from official apps and/or official pages. don’t share bank details or information payment via open links with a QR code.

There are Android apps to securely scan QR codes.

Analyze links after scanning QR codes

To keep calm and check if what is hiding the QR code is safe or malicious page or application, you can scan the link that appears in the same way as we do with shortened links or with files that we download from unknown sources. Thanks to the pages online analysis like VirusTotal and the like, you can check if the link is legitimate or if it’s hiding something. And if you’re using Android, you have an unofficial app at your disposal, but recommended by them. The application analyzes your installed applications in addition to files and links what you are asking for analysis.

If you’re using an iPhone, you’ll see a preview of the link before you open it. On Android, there are more dangers during installation fake apps and malwaremore and more security apps on Google Play scan QR codes safely. So you can scan those codes and from the same app find out if they are trustworthy or not.

The list is varied, but we can highlight those applications:

  • QR Scanner-Safe QR Code Reader (Trend Micro)
  • QR code reader and scanner (Kaspersky)
  • Lionic Secure QR Code Scanner

Source: Hiper Textual

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