Be Wary of the QR Code!

Have you seen these before?

You’ve probably seen them on social media, or in restaurants, markets, taped to the walls or on telephone poles, pretty much everywhere you go.

Likely by now, you know the drill: whip out your smartphone, open up the camera app, and scan the code to be taken to whatever place you’re trying to navigate to. Have you ever paid close attention to where you’re being directed to? If you’re like most people, probably not. I’ll even admit that I’m not always checking carefully when I do scan a code (shhhhhhhh, don’t tell!).

Odds are that when you’re at your favorite restaurant, the QR code for their menu is legitimate. But be careful of the ones you may see out in the wild that just sound sketchy. They may say something like, “scan this code to take our survey to win such-and-such prize!”. I mean, sure, who DOESN’T want to win such-and-such prize? But, are you REALLY going to win anything?

When looking at the code in your camera app, make sure to pay attention to where that code is going to direct you (in the example above, notice how the Camera app on the iPhone says that this QR code points to apple.com). Most Android devices should do the same thing as well.

It’s not that complicated to put together a phony site, throw some “survey” questions together, generate a QR code, then sit back and collect all of the data that may come rolling in. Nowadays, one doesn’t even need to create their own nefarious site, and instead, just purchase one from the dark side of the web.

Were you curious about the QR code I posted at the top of my post? Hopefully, you are all vigilant and skeptical people, and didn’t do it. But in case you did, it just points to my site.

I promise! 😉

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