Using QR codes could put your data and your privacy at risk

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


Since the pandemic, many restaurants and  large retailers are using QR codes (mobile links) to connect customers to “hands-free” menus and bills. Customers are asked to scan the QR code with their phone’s camera to connect to a website. Recent reports found that QR codes also could be used by scammers.

When QR codes are activated via mobile phone cameras and connect to a website, companies are able to capture customers' order histories, contact information, location, even credit card data.

QR codes used by restaurants are often produced by a separate company that stores your personal information and creates a profile containing personal information about you and your purchase history. There are no legal limits to stop companies from sharing your data with others.

Scammers have used QR code technology to plant data—and possibly malicious software, known as malware—on phones. The internet security company Kaspersky warns consumers to beware of bogus QR codes that redirect you to a seemingly legitimate website that asks for your personal information in order to steal it for identity theft and other illegal activity. Experts recommend only using QR codes that come from a known or trusted source. If a QR code takes you to an unknown third-party site, make sure to check that company’s privacy policy. If possible, access company websites directly, using a browser.




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