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QR Codes Are Not Viruses

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Word has been going around at an incredible speed. People are excited about all the possibilities that the QR Code technology brings but they are also, at the same time, would like to err on the side of caution. 

What we are seeing right now is an ever-increasing number of smart phone users who are not only eager to try new things out but also a growing concern over the dangers of using or scanning a QR Code. The concern lies in not knowing what is hidden in the QR Code and the possible danger is stopping people from scanning QR Codes that they are interested in. What a pity. 

It is a good thing that the writer for 2d-code (a UK website) already wrote a masterpiece trying to appease people who are interested in QR Codes but are afraid to scan them. Read the article here when you have the time. The author tries to explain in as un-techy sort of way as possible so that it is reader-friendly. 

If you are worried about QR Codes being viruses, here is what the article said in the nutshell. QR Codes CANNOT be viruses. Not convinced yet? Viruses have to ‘live’ in a file that can be downloaded and executed by your computer, and in this case, your mobile device. For example, if you downloaded a software or program from the internet that had a virus in it – yes, then the virus can hop over to your mobile phone and cause it harm. 

QR Codes have no executable file or data in them. Which means that the QR Code can not be a virus. Furthermore, even if the QR Code contained a virus, in order for the virus to harm your mobile device, it needs an application or program to process it and house the virus on your mobile phone. And as far as I know, there are no QR Code readers out there that can execute files. QR Codes readers are merely that…readers. They decode what is hidden in the QR Code. End of story. 

The only way that QR Codes can harm your mobile phone is when you scanned the code that lead you to a link whereby you are asked to, and you oblige, download some files where the viruses are ‘housed’. 

So, wary not about scanning QR Codes. Worry more about the limit of your curiosity, the source of the QR Codes and links that you find on your mobile phone. In most cases, you should err on the side of caution when attempting to download softwares or apps found on the internet. This is the only known way you can protect your mobile device for now. 

If you are curious, come try generating your own QR Code here and scan it with your smart phones!

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