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How to tell if a QR code is safe or not [Tip]

Truth be told, not all QR codes are safe. If you are not cautious, you could end up scanning a malicious Quick Response code but alas, it’s too late. You’ve already fallen as a victim to random pranks, spam and other forms of malicious attacks.

Now, isn’t there any way for you to tell if a QR code is safe or not? Well, here are some effective ways to protect yourself from fake and malicious QR codes.

Choose a reliable QR code reader

Never use a QR code reader app that doesn’t provide preventive measures to keep their users safe from malicious or harmful codes. Speaking of which, make sure to choose a QR code reader that offers a quick preview to the content of the code so that you’ll know whether it’s safe to open or not.

If you are using Android or iOS, there are a couple Quick Response Code readers out there that are safe and reliable enough for you to use. One good example of this is Norton Snap [1]. You can also try using ZXing Team’s Barcode Scanner.

Norton Snap QR Code Scanner [2]

As for Norton Snap, it does not only provide you with a quick preview to the code’s content but it will also rate the code so that you’ll know whether it’s safe, harmful or untested. The good thing about this app is that it’s free to use and it’s currently available for both Android and iOS devices.

Apart from this, you should also avoid using any QR code scanner that requires a lot of permission even if it’s already beyond its scope of function.

Avoid scanning random QR codes

Nowadays, you can find QR codes on magazines, newspapers, calling cards, coffee cups and even on T-shirts and mugs. In other words, they are everywhere. Even so, it doesn’t necessarily imply that all of these codes are safe and authentic. Who knows? Some of them might be tampered. So before you scan a code, check it first.

Don’t just scan every code that you see. The same goes for the codes that you see on various blogs and sites. As a matter of fact, some of these codes may contain malicious links that are hidden inside a short URL.

To further protect yourself from malicious attacks, make sure that your device or computer has a trusted anti-virus and anti-malware app.