Just like using any part of the Internet, using “QR Codes” comes with a little bit of a risk. So, we have provided a few tips to stay safe when you come across a “QR Code.”


Be care what you scan!

image of fake QR code with skull and crossbones

As you may have heard, some people are using QR codes to “scam” people.

But you can avoid those scams by being aware of a few safety tips.

1. Be wary of randomly placed “QR Codes” in public.

Hackers can place malicious QR codes in public, sometimes covering up legitimate QR codes.

2. Check the “Link!”

Most “QR Codes” will link you to a website. But some can open apps or settings on your phone.

The “link” that pops up when you scan the “QR Code” will tell you what kind of action the “QR Code” will perform (as shown below).

Image of QR banner showing website link

If the banner says something you weren’t expecting, don’t tap on it!

3. Check the “URL”

Everything on the Internet has a unique address (called a “URL”) but your phone won’t show the whole address. 

To be sure you are not on a fake or malicious web page, tap on the “address bar” at the top or bottom of the page you are looking at on your phone.

There are a couple things to look for to make sure the “QR Code” did not lead you into danger:

    1. Make sure the URL is “secure” and has a little “padlock” to the left of it
    2. Make sure the address is spelled correctly and shows the name of the site you were expecting.
    3. Make sure the page includes a privacy policy and contact information (like a physical address or phone number).

4. Be careful what you share!

Many websites will ask you to “sign up” with your name and email address. As long as you have verified that you are on a legitimate website, and have checked the website’s “privacy policy” (to be sure your information cannot be given or sold to others), submitting that information is common.

But there are some things you should be very wary of sharing on a website form:

    • Confidential information about your identity
    • Financial information
    • Your schedule
    • Work information
    • Passwords or information that could be clues to your password
    • go to news.trendmicro.com for more info

Always assume that anything you share online can and will be shared, and not always in a manner that you would like.  Go for an air of mystery and keep this information private!