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The BBB on QR Codes

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The Better Business Bureau has added their voice to the QR code buzz by giving businesses tips and guidelines on using QR codes for their campaigns.

Specifically, the BBB offers these tips:

1. Choose the best places to put your QR codes.  From store windows, to newspaper ads, to email signatures, mugs, to shirts, to business cards and other places to display your codes, you should choose the best location for your codes.

2. Generating your QR codes.  There are a lot of online sites that offer free QR code generators.  All you have to do is to go to a QR generator site, such as BeQRious.com, and input the URL or the content you want to place behind the code.

3. QR code Risks.  The BBB also sounded the alarm on potential risks and how to go about them. 

What are the dangers?  The BBB warns against spyware, identity theft, and phishing which may be activated and downloaded to a user’s phone.  Somebody might unwittingly scan a QR code and get malware on his or her phone, or have his or her identity stolen.

How do you avoid being a victim?

The BBB offers these tips:

1. Verify the source of the QR code.  Do not just scan QR codes from unknown sources.  For example, a flyer that offers discounts and deals might be too good to be true if you do not know who published it.

2. Check the label. Even if the flyer comes from a well-known business in town, you have to be sure that the QR code is not fake.  Because QR codes are very easy to generate and produce, other people might print it on stickers and put these stickers on legitimate QR codes.

3. Exercise caution.  When in doubt, don’t.  That classic rule applies to QR codes too.  If you feel uncomfortable filling up a form that has been accessed by a QR code, then do not fill it out.  Same goes for credit card details and payment information.

4. Protect your mobile device.  To be proactive about your security, install a security app on your phone, tablet and other mobile devices to help you detect malware and other malicious software.

For businesses, one of the best way to assure your customers that the QR code is from you and not from any cybercriminal is to brand them.  How?  Make sure that you customize your QR codes to reflect your branding, or simply to include your logo in it.  It will be much easier to recognize and much more difficult to fake!

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