University of Tennessee professor explains dangers of QR codes

A UT Professor published research about how to protect yourself when scanning a QR Code.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:37 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - University of Tennessee Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Scott Ruoti, published an article about the dangers of QR codes and how you can protect yourself. QR codes are a way for people to pull up unique URL codes while avoiding close contact with other objects.

“QR codes are not inherently dangerous. They are simply a way to store data. However, just as it can be hazardous to click links in emails, visiting URLs stored in QR codes can also be risky in several ways,” stated Ruoti.

Ruoti said it’s essential to ensure that the QR code link is safe and comes from a trusted source. Scammers are using popular logos and could be putting stickers over legitimate QR codes in an effort to steal your information.

“It is surprising what you can do with information that you might not be able to be that important, but adversaries can use that to de-identify you and use that to impersonate you often,” said Ruoti.

He says to use caution when scanning the QR code and look closely at the URL. There are apps in the app store that will also identify a malicious URL.

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