QR code with a pith helmet on it on a jungle background

Welcome to the QR Code Jungle

Heading into the unknown takes some preparation. For example, how many of us would head out to camp overnight in a jungle without protection from the elements, insect bites, or even wild animals? While the prospect of scanning QR codes may not seem that adventurous, it’s a prime example of the tension we see between security and convenience.

The Ubiquity of QR Codes

With only a brief scan, QR codes offer instant access to information and services, making them an indispensable component of our lives. Case in point: Have you ever used a QR code to quickly pull up a restaurant menu, enter a prize drawing, or purchase tickets to a sporting event? QR codes are just about everywhere.

Potential Dangers of QR Codes

But in addition to their ease of use, QR codes could be dangerous for our online safety. We must be extra vigilant and take precautions against threats related to QR codes. Below are some useful tips to keep you safe while entering the QR code jungle.

Pause & Verify

Before scanning any QR code, it is essential to ensure your security by pausing to verify its source. Pay close attention, particularly to QR codes received via email, text, or social media from unfamiliar sources. Threat actors frequently use these channels to distribute malicious QR codes intended to compromise devices or gather personal information.

By being on guard and validating the source of QR codes before scanning, you can mitigate your risk of becoming a victim of a cyberattack.

Use a Legit Scanner

It is crucial to utilize a trusted QR code scanner to mitigate potential security risks. Use a reputable app to ensure reliability and safety. Avoid downloading QR code scanners from third-party platforms or unfamiliar developers. They might harbor malware or pose other security threats.

By adhering to this best practice, you can safeguard your device and personal information against potential vulnerabilities. Prioritize security by choosing a QR code scanner from a trusted and verified source.

Scrutinize Short URLs

When encountering QR codes containing shortened URLs, exercise caution due to the inherent difficulty in discerning their destination websites immediately. These shortened URLs can potentially lead to phishing websites or malicious content, posing security risks to users.

To mitigate these risks, it is advisable to use a URL expanding service that allows you to preview the full URL before directing to the website. By taking this proactive step, you can assess the legitimacy of the site and make informed decisions regarding accessing it. Prioritize your online safety by remaining vigilant when interacting with QR codes containing shortened URLs.


Even though QR codes are handy, venturing into uncharted territory can be risky. But if you follow some simple tips, you can stay safe. Make sure to use trusted QR code scanners, check for any strange signs, and be careful with short URLs and redirects. Stay updated about new threats and trust your gut feeling. By doing these things, you can enjoy using QR codes without sacrificing your security.

If you have questions regarding the safety of specific QR codes or websites, it’s wise to consult your local IT department or Managed Service Provider (MSP). To learn more about how to level up your organization’s data protection through a multilayered approach, contact Your Trusted Cybersecurity Team™ at Ostra.