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QR Code and NFC Risks

QR codes are an easy and convenient way for consumers to receive information. This technology is an inexpensive way for businesses to promote their services and products. As technologically advanced as QR codes are there are several security risks that can ultimately affect a business.

A short range wireless technology called Near Field Communications (NFC) is a form of mobile payment used in purchasing transportation tickets, and products from a store. Near Field Communication allows devices to easily communicate with one another for speed and convenience. However, like QR codes, there are potential security risks, especially when ordering products or making payments. 

One example of a security risk is when a consumer uses their smartphone to scan a QR code in order to download an application, and instead their phone send out mass amounts of text messages from and to their phone resulting in an inflated phone bill. QR codes are capable of containing any sort of data which can lead to a consumer downloading viruses, malware, or even spyware from websites. 

Another example of a security risk while using QR codes and NFC, is people stealing credit card information and using it for themselves. This easily increases the chances of identity theft and fraud.

Data theft is another example of a security risk that affects NFC. NFC allows two devices to communicate with one another, but it is possible for a third device to seize the incoming data. There are three major concerns if this happens: possible data modification or corruption, and insertion of new data.

You can prevent these security risks when using or creating QR codes by using these steps:

1)   Pay attention to what the QR code says should be downloaded

2)    Use a Short Domain so users can see the entire URL on their phones

3)    Use HTTPS to help with the safety of online transactions

Everyone, businesses, individuals, governmental agencies need to be aware that there are people who will use malicious means to get private and personal information. Be careful when downloading suspicious QR codes and never enter personal information.