It’s OK, you can scan that QR code

It’s OK, you can scan that QR code

You may have noticed that QR codes are popping up in more places, like restaurants, parking meters and even your television. The seemingly limitless capabilities of QR codes make them a perfect tool for accessing information quickly and efficiently. They have become even more popular in the past few years because they make touchless transactions and website navigation a breeze.

But there have been some reports warning people against scanning QR codes. We recently came across an article by Inc. that cites the FBI’s public announcement about how cybercriminals can “tamper” with QR codes to try to steal someone’s personal or financial information. Does that mean that QR codes are dangerous to scan? Not really, and here’s why.

QR codes are not inherently dangerous to scan, and that’s mainly because you can’t simply “hack” a QR code—the security vulnerabilities are quite low. You won’t get your information stolen simply by scanning them. Similar to email phishing scams, tampered QR codes lead you to fake websites that try to trick you into entering your login credentials, or credit card information and that’s where you run into trouble.

It seems like an unavoidable situation since QR codes now appear all over the place, from digital advertisements to printed ones. You may even see QR code stickers when you’re out and about with nothing but a simple message to scan the code. You might feel tempted to do so, and that’s ok!

QR code stickers on light post in street

Stickers are a great way to advertise, and QR codes can instantly direct potential customers where you want them to go. Many restaurants now use QR code stickers on tables so that patrons can access the menu, order food, and also pay for their meals. If you’re unsure, check the website. For example, if the website is Toast tab, you can feel safe to scan—it’s a very popular platform restaurants use for managing orders and payments.

The point we want to make is that you can safely scan QR codes on stickers, just make sure the source is credible before sending any information, and double check the URL to make sure it’s legit. So if you’re feeling curious about that QR code, we say go ahead and scan!