QR Code Security: What You Need to Know Today

QR Code Security: What You Need to Know Today

QR codes are very common today, enough so that attackers are discovering ways of using them for profit. How can QR codes be used this way, and what can you do to boost QR code security and protect against these scams?

What Are QR Codes Used For? 

QR codes — short for “quick response codes” — were born in 1994 as a way for Japanese auto parts maker Denso Wave to track parts in car factories. These two-dimensional barcodes enable a smartphone camera to read up to 4,000 characters of information instantaneously. 

After growing in use and breadth of application for decades, QR codes are having a moment. In 2020, consumers and businesses embraced touchless solutions. App-centric payment companies, charities, nonprofits and point-of-sale systems used online QR code generators as a way to make customer portals that avoided button pushing and credit card exchanges. 

The largest tech companies are embracing QR codes in a big way. Silicon Valley companies (and others) are finding QR codes useful for self-service information in retail stores, transactions and other uses. Most interestingly, they’ll also become useful for augmented reality. QR code stickers on an object or wall or table can serve as both an anchor in 3D space for virtual reality objects and the source of the data. 

Smart displays can now support QR codes for scanning grocery items to add to a shopping list. Social networks have embraced QR codes for linking to personal profiles. There’s no question QR codes are now totally mainstream. 

A survey by MobileIron found that 84% of respondents had scanned a QR code before, with ..