QR code or Quick Response code is a trademark for a type of matrix two dimensional barcode, which was first designed for automotive industry in Japan. A QR code comprises black modules on a square grid on a white background. A barcode helps in recording information related to an item through an optically machine-readable label attached to the item. The information encoded in a QR code may consist of numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary and other data through supported extensions. The QR code is very popular in automotive industry due to its quick readability and greater storage capacity. QR code helps in high speed scanning of components, stores more data compared to traditional barcodes, and these are very easy to use as well.
We usually find QR codes on billboards, advertisements, business windows, and products. These codes are becoming very popular among marketers.
The QR codes may contain simple texts, URLs, SMS along with phone numbers, deal coupons, movie tickets, contact details, and so on. Consumers use QR codes to quickly perform an intended action with the help of a smart phone. QR codes do not require any extra electronics or special technology to work. QR codes can be captured and accessed with the help of a scanner app installed in a smart phone. The consumers can get required information on the product just by scanning the QR codes and also access the website URLs given in QR codes. QR codes are also used in Google Authenticator. Google displays a QR code once the Authenticator is installed. The QR code can be scanned with the Google Authenticator app and the system automatically fills the authenticator information. QR codes are also used to allow a smart phone or a computer in communicating with each other. QR codes are used in logging on to any website.
QR codes are not that complicated and can be easily used with the help of any device say a smart phone or a computer. However, it is not widely circulated yet because it requires a scanner app or a smart phone to access information. Marketers have not shown their complete trust on QR codes as it requires a lot of time to launch the scanner app in a smart phone, scan the code and visit the appropriate website. QR codes are also pretty prone to security issues. It would not be very tough for an attacker to print a QR code with a malicious URL on a sticker and fix it over an existing QR code in a high traffic area. As QR code redirects you to a website, a malignant code may take you to a phishing site and create security problems for you.