QR Codes

QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes, seemingly simple black-and-white squares store a significant amount of data, connecting physical objects to digital information.

How Do QR Codes Work?

QR codes can encode various types of data, including URLs, text, contact information, and more. When you scan a QR code using your smartphone or a QR code reader, it decodes the information embedded within, which often takes you to a specific webpage.

The key message here is to ensure that you double check the webpage link it may lead you to. Follow the best internet browsing practices, such as confirming the link is taking you to a safe webpage.

Did you know?

When you scan a QR code using your smartphone or a QR code reader, it decodes the information embedded within. However, cybercriminals are smart in utilizing QR codes for malicious purposes and encoding suspicious links.

Avoid clicking on any suspicious links!

How to Spot Suspicious Links

1. Analyse the URL:

  • Hover over the link without clicking. Inspect the domain name carefully. Look for misspellings, extra characters, or unusual variations.
  • Be wary of shortened URLs (like bit.ly or t.co). Use tools to expand them and reveal the full link.
  • Check for HTTPS (secure) versus HTTP (insecure) protocols. Legitimate and secure sites use HTTPS.

2. Examine the Content:

  • Too good to be true? Beware of links promising unbelievable deals, freebies, or instant wealth.
  • Urgency and fear tactics: Scammers create urgency (e.g., “Your account will be suspended!”) to pressure you into clicking.

3. Check the Source:

  • Emails and messages: Be cautious of links in unsolicited emails, SMS, or social media messages.
  • Social engineering: Spammers use character combinations to deceive you. Trust your instincts.

Remember, vigilance is your best defence. Educate yourself, trust your instincts, and verify before you click. By doing so, you’ll navigate the digital landscape with confidence, avoiding the pitfalls of suspicious links.

Creating a QR code

Numerous online tools allow you to create QR codes. Ensure they generate dynamic QR codes that can be updated with new information and your QR code is large enough to be easily scanned. Always test your QR code on multiple devices before printing it on marketing materials or packaging.

Privacy considerations when creating a QR code

When using QR codes to collect data (e.g., for contact tracing), be transparent and ethical. Respect privacy, obtain consent, and avoid tracking behaviors without user approval.

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Report a security incident

Report a phishing incident, password compromise, ransomware or other suspicious activity.

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