JoyQR / QR Code Security Practices to Keep You and Your Business Safe

Cyber attacks and viruses are common, but JoyQR strives to keep users safe when scanning QR codes. Since your security is important to us, we continue to develop features designed to protect all users. By following these best practices and using our built-in security features, you can keep yourself and your devices safe from harm and use trust elements to build credibility for your business and JoyQR profile. But first, let’s look at the ways that scammers, hackers, and cyber criminals use QR codes in their schemes

How Can Cyber Criminals Use QR Codes?

JoyQR codes are not inherently more dangerous than simply typing in a URL into your browser on your smartphone or computer, but QR codes sometimes hide the destination. This makes it easier for hackers and scammers to exploit unsuspecting users.

Since QR codes offer an offline or in-person code that directs to an online channel, it is important to know how they can be used for malicious intent. Not only can this help you stay safe but can also dictate how you build trust in your JoyQR codes for your business, which means you get more clicks, scans, and conversions.

  • Phishing attacks: try to get you to input your own information voluntarily. Then, that info can be used to target your data, identity, and more. Scammers may pair QR codes with frame text offering benefits like “Scan now to win a free gift card.” While not every QR code with this type of frame text is a scammer, it is a red flag to be aware of.
  • Replacing legitimate QR codes with harmful ones: Cyber criminals may take advantage of a business’s credibility by swapping the genuine QR code with their own harmful one. Then, when trusting customers scan it, they are directed to a phishing website, malware attack, or other malicious destination.
  • Email attacks: QR codes can be sent with emails as a part of a social engineering attack because they can get past your spam filters and other built-in protection for your email provider. Then, when someone scans the code, they will be directed to a malicious webpage.
  • Financial theft: Cyber criminals can exploit the popularity of QR codes as a payment method and use it for fraudulent transactions. By placing their own QR codes as a payment option, they steal the money that was meant for someone else. They may even charge your accounts more than you would have paid if it was a genuine payment QR code.
  • Clickjacking: Sometimes fraudsters will use a website that looks legitimate to propel visitors to click-through and download malware, viruses, and privacy infringements directly onto their device. This is done through clickjacking, which hides hyperlinks beneath clickable content, including QR codes.

How JoyQR Users Stay Safe and Secure

QR codes will direct you to potentially harmful websites, but if you learn how to keep yourself safe, you can reduce the likelihood of using a threatening code. Let’s look at the three guidelines for QR code scanning.

  • Inspect the code: If you look closely at a QR code, you may be able to identify elements that show you if the code is safe or not. If the QR code has the business logo, color scheme, or other credibility-building features, that is always a good sign.
  • Avoid third-party apps: There are lots of apps that can scan QR codes, and most of them are legitimate. However, all smartphones come with a native app to scan QR codes that will never be fraudulent because it is integrated within the camera app. Using this built in QR scanner can help you stay safe.
  • Verify the URL: When you scan a QR code with a smartphone, you will sometimes receive a pop-up telling you where you are going to be directed. Examine the URL to make sure it is from the expected domain and that it’s encrypted, and SSL certified with https:// before the rest of the web address. Also, remember that the sneakiest cyber criminals will sometimes change very small portions of a URL, so you need to check carefully.

How Can Businesses Build Credibility with QR Codes

  • Customize codes to match your brand: Using the JoyQR platform, you can use your brand’s colors and design elements within your custom created QR code. You can even use your company logo within the QR code, which not only builds trust, but also spreads awareness of your brand.
  • Ensure URL looks legitimate: When linking a QR code to a landing page or webpage, it is important to ensure that it looks genuine. Sometimes, landing pages won’t show the website name, but it can be helpful to make sure it does because it will show potential visitors that they will be directed to where they want to go…your website.
  • Use high-quality QR generators: With free online QR code generators, you may find that the URL will contain numbers and meaningless characters. JoyQR makes it easy to implement a credible URL within your customizable codes. Plus, the JoyQR website is SSL certified.
  • Use password protection: While this strategy isn’t for everyone and it depends on the use of your QR code, JoyQR offers the ability to password protect your codes. This makes them more secure because customers will have to input the specific password to proceed.
  • Test your QR code: While JoyQR has security features to prevent users from connecting to non-valid URLs, we still recommend testing your QR codes before distributing them to make sure they work correctly, direct users to the intended page, and appear legitimate.

Create Credible more Secure QR Codes with JoyQR

Use JoyQR to create authentic, on-brand, and customizable QR codes and keep your entire business in one place with a complete profile. Click here to learn more about our QR code generator and how to use JoyQR features to grow your online brand.