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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

QR Codes Are Evil

January 6, 2022

I’ve been down this road before. QR codes may be convenient, but they are a huge security risk. I warned about QR code usage last year in a post. Bitdefender reports that US police are warning users about QR codes on parking meters. Basically, you create a QR code that sends you to a site that prompts you to enter some personal information. In the case of the parking meters, entering your credit card information for payment is a common request. Guess what? You’ll still be getting a ticket since you really didn’t pay the fee.

QR codes are very easy to generate. The Chrome browser even has a built in function to create a QR code. Just click on the “share” icon in the URL address bar and select the QR code option. The major problem with QR codes is that you really don’t know where the code will send you unless you do a little more work to decode the code first. I don’t scan QR codes and you shouldn’t either. A Forbes article gives you more detailed reasons why. Most of us use a smartphone to scan a QR code. If you insist on scanning QR codes, make sure the security software on your phone (yes you should have security software installed) validates that the code is safe before sending you on your way.

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