Now that QR codes have become a regular feature of smartphones for users, doubts and fear begin to appear. Among the biggest fears is that a virus could take over the terminal and affect the files that we have stored in it, although is it possible that this happens just by scanning a QR code?
A question that can generate mere curiosity or even fear, being something that will affect both Android smartphones and iPhones. And although it may seem unsuspected given that most of the QR codes that we use are linked to businesses to offer us their information, we could run into someone with very bad intentions.
Yes, QR codes can hide a virus
Behind each QR code we remember that there is a link ready to offer us access to a web page, which may not only have information but also the automatic download of a file. These measures are what those who generate viruses will use to sneak into our mobile phone and achieve their worst purposes.
Being such a novel element and that not everyone controls, seeing that the QR code does not show us what we expected to see, our alarms do not go off. We are therefore faced with the virus going completely unnoticed without us knowing at any time that the phone has been infected through the QR. We would only be aware if the smartphone began to fail, we lose files or other strange phenomena happen that give us clues that the mobile is no longer what it was.
For now, there are few cases of malicious QR codes in Spain, but throughout the world there have been news of users who have suffered attacks after using various QR codes that did not comply with what they promised.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
The best way to avoid a virus using QR codes is to use common sense. You only have to scan those QR codes that are of interest to us and are accompanied by all the necessary information. For example, on the table in a restaurant where we are going to eat, the QR code is completely safe, in the same way as on the town hall sign at the bus stop. Other possible safe locations are in products that we are going to consume or in technological devices that want to take us to their app or instructions for use.
These are situations where the QR code avoids us having to type a whole URL address to know the information on our mobile. But nevertheless, the cases where we should not trust a code is when it is not accompanied by any information, since it has many possibilities of being expressly placed to get the data from our mobile. Then you can get it or not, if we leave the web quickly or we do not agree to download the file that the portal offers us.