How to protect your smartphone from malicious QR codes

QR codes are a fun and interesting way to share information, but how do you know they're safe? Symantec has a simple solution to help protect your Android or iOS device from malicious QR codes.

Norton Snap for Android
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

QR codes are a fun way to share information and they're starting to appear in all sorts of places. QR codes often contain Web links, that when scanned, automatically take you to the Web site.

As QR codes become more prevalent, however, it might be a good idea to start checking the QR codes, before allowing your browser to load unknown links.

To address potentially malicious QR codes, Symantec has released a QR code scanner that will check links before loading them in your browser. Scanning a QR code with Norton Snap (iOS | Android) will check the link, then provide you with a clear safety rating. If you want to continue loading the link, you simply tap on the full link address. You can also tap on the rating box to view more details about the site.

Norton Snap is currently in beta and free to use, but there's no word yet on whether Symantec plans to charge for it at some point or include it in a premium suite of security apps.

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

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