These days everybody is using QR codes for various reasons. One of the busiest restaurants here uses a different QR code on their front door everyday, and people can scan it in their smartphones if they want a table in the next few hours. QR codes have not only been very useful and say many things just through a picture of bar-codes, but they also have an element of mystery inside them. When you are walking on the street and you see a new QR code on a poster that was not there yesterday, you are tempted to scan it and find out whats hidden inside it. But cyber-criminals are also using this QR code mystery factor to redirect users to some of the malicious, phishing and attack sites. They hide a malicious web address inside the QR code and when someone scans it using their smartphone, the unsuspecting user is sent to that harmful site resulting in malware infections or data theft.
Symantec, the well known leader of the computer security solutions, has come up with a QR code scanner called Norton Snap which has security built inside it. When you can scan a QR code through Norton Snap, it first checks any web addresses inside it for malicious activity – warning you if it finds the websites to be unsafe.
After installing Norton Snap QR code scanner in your Android or iPhone smartphone, you can launch it and start snapping the QR codes right away. It shows a traditional red laser beam animation on the screen indicating that it is looking for the QR codes on your screen. Actually it can scan both the QR codes as well as data matrix codes. Usually the scanning starts working as soon as you launch the app, but you can also manually select to scan from the web interface. You can even enter a web address by typing it into the app (in case the QR code is damaged and you know what website address is inside it.)
When it finds any web address inside the QR code, it scans it against its online Norton Safe database and tells you whether the website is safe or not. I scanned the QR code for http://www.trishtech.com/ and as expected, it showed a green safe rating for the site. At this point you can tap on Open Web Site to visit the site in your browser.
On the other hand, if you happen to find a malicious website in one of the QR codes scanned by you through the Norton Snap QR code scanner, you will be shown a red colored warning that the website is malicious and unsafe to visit.
In the settings for the Norton Snap QR code scanner app, you can choose to start the camera for scanning as soon as you start the app, use the flash light while scanning the QR code if you are in a dimly lit area, and choose to visit a website automatically if it is safe it visit.
Conclusion: Norton Snap QR code scanner can save you from malicious, phishing and attack website links hidden surreptitiously inside the QR codes. It checks all the website URLs using Norton Safe database and warns you beforehand if it finds any malicious links.
You can get Norton Snap QR Code Scanner from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.symantec.norton.snap.