QR Codes are a well-known technology today. From pharmaceuticals and marketing to product packaging and inventory management, they are being used everywhere.
In fact, ever since the pandemic has hit the world, their adoption has increased. Why? Because of their impressive contactless nature.
In addition, an increase in smartphone penetration and access to high-speed internet has further fueled this growth.
The global smartphone penetration went from 59.01% in 2017 to 78.05% in 2020. And access to high-speed mobile internet increased from 48.8% in 2014 to 62.5% in Jan 2022.
So you’re planning on using QR Codes. But like any other technology, you will use them only when they are safe.
That means whether the data you add to QR Codes would be in safe hands or not. Are they resistant to being hacked?
Since not a lot of information about QR Code safety is available out there, you may have many safety concerns in your mind.
In this article, we will discuss how to find a safe QR Code generator for your needs. In addition, we also have a detailed guide on QR Code-related malpractices that you be aware of.
To get started, here’s an exhaustive list of parameters you must consider while looking for a safe QR Code generator:
A. Must-have features in a safe QR Code Generator
1. Data security and user privacy
Whenever you use a tool or software, you share some personal data. And ensuring that your data is in safe hands is important. Moreover, in case you use this tool to collect information about your clients, you’d want it to safeguard that too!
Hence, your QR Code generator must keep all the data safe, private, and secure.
So, see whether the QR Code generator you select is GDPR compliant and ISO 27001:2013 Certified. Not sure what it means?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation on data protection and privacy. It ensures that the EU residents have control over how their personal data is stored and processed by organizations.
ISO 27001:2013 is a certification that signals that the organization has met quality standards for its information security management system. It ensures that the organization knows how to manage its data with utmost security.
A service provider with both these certifications is highly likely to be trustworthy. That’s because getting these is not an easy job. These certifications are only awarded after closely scrutinizing every process in an organization to ensure customer safety.
2. Authorized multi-user access
Need your team to help you handle the campaigns? The multi-user support feature is here for you.
This feature allows you to invite your teammates and other stakeholders to access and manage the QR Code account. You can control the level of access for each user. For example, you can assign them different roles such as Viewer, Manager, and Admin. Here’s what it means:
Users with this level of access can view and export the campaign analytics. However, they can’t create or edit QR Codes.
Users with managerial access can view and edit QR Codes and also see the analytics. They can also do a lot more activities such as adding third-party integrations, creating QR Codes in bulk, etc.
An admin has almost every permission to manage the campaign. It could be QR Code generation, analytics and data monitoring, integrations, and many other advanced controls.
3. Availability of multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of protection to your QR Code generation account. It ensures a higher level of security assurance than a password alone.
Here’s how it works—say you create an account with a QR Code generator and you create a password to log in.
Somehow your password gets stolen or leaked and your account’s safety is now at risk. That means there can be data breaches and even unauthorized QR Code edits.
Multi-factor authentication ensures that no unauthorized user accesses your account. It does so by asking you to not only enter the password while logging in but also additional information. For example, OTP and push notifications.
Hence, even if someone gets hold of your password, they’ll not be able to log in to the account.
4. Custom URL and custom domain feature
Do you know QR Codes are of two types—static and dynamic? Static QR Codes store the data directly. So they are non-editable and non-trackable. That means you can’t edit the content encoded in the QR Code once generated.
On the other hand, dynamic QR Codes are both editable and trackable. They do not store the target data directly into them. They rather store a redirecting URL that takes the end-users to the target data. This is called a redirecting URL which is given by your service provider.
And you may want to remove the name of the QR Code service provider from the redirecting URL. To do that, you’ll have to use your own website domain or URL hash.
This will strengthen your brand-building effort as first thing end-users will see after scanning will be this branded URL. Also, it builds trust among the end-users. Why? Because when they see your domain name in the link, it becomes easier for them to trust it and click it open.
Also, branded links have up to 39% more click-throughs compared to generic short URLs.
To use this feature, you need a QR Code generator with custom domains and URLs. They will help you add your own brand name to the link. It will help customers identify that the QR Code belongs to your brand and isn’t illegitimate or unsafe.
In case, your business doesn’t have a website, check to see if the domain offered by the QR Code Generator solution is secure.
5. Add password protection
Say you’re encoding confidential data in the QR Codes such as bank statements. And you want only authorized personnel to see the encoded content.
This is where a QR Code generator with password protection can help you out. It helps protect sensitive information against unauthorized access.
Here’s how it works—once the end-user scans the QR Code, he will be prompted to enter the password. Only after entering the correct password, will he be able to access the encoded content.
B. Safe QR Code scanning practices
Now you know a safe QR Code generator can offer you safe and secure services. But you should also be aware of the safest QR Code scanning practices. They will keep you away from harm’s way. Here are some of them:
1. Check the domain name
When scanning the QR Code, you generally see a short URL on your screen. Here, you need to check to see whether the domain name is familiar. This means whether it belongs to the same company/brand from the advertisements.
Keep in mind that some brands rely on the default domain provided by QR Code generators. So, always check the domain name before following through.
In case the brand name neither belongs to the advertiser nor a reliable QR Code generator, you must beware of opening the link.
2. Avoid scanning random QR Codes on the internet
Imagine receiving a QR Code. Should you scan it? Definitely, not.
Because simply scanning a random QR Code can lead you to a scam site. Or it could also give fraudsters unauthorized access to your smartphone in unwanted ways.
This is one of the most common QR Code frauds. In case, you want to become familiar with all the common QR Code frauds and their solutions, here is a detailed guide to help you out.
3. Update to the latest OS
You scan a QR Code using your smartphone. Thus, it makes sense to always keep the smartphone’s operating system updated.
This ensures that the latest and most formidable security checks are on your smartphone. Hence, the probability of falling prey to security scams decreases.
C. How to create QR Codes
Now you know QR Codes are safe and secure. The next question—how to create one?
I. Create QR Codes one by one
If your use case doesn’t require hundreds and thousands of QR Codes, this is the right choice for you. This option offers you a wide range of QR Code categories to choose from. For example, Event QR Code, Website URL QR Code, Product QR Code, etc.
To create one, you simply need a QR Code generator. You can find various QR Code generators online. But comparing each result to find the safest one is a tedious process. For your convenience, here is a detailed comparison of the best QR Code generators available online. You can go through it to find the safest one for yourself.
Once finalized, you can go ahead and create your own first QR Code. To help you get started, here’s a step-by-step guide on it.
II. Create QR Codes in bulk
If your requirement is huge, you can go ahead with this option.
Here, you’d need a bulk QR Code generation service. It allows you to create up to 100,000 QR Codes in one go. Thus, it eliminates the need to generate QR Codes one by one.
Bulk QR Code generation service offers a variety of choices. For example, Website URL QR Codes, Simple Text QR Codes, Serial Code QR Codes, and VCard QR Codes.
To make use of it, you simply need to upload a data file in XLS, CSV, or XLSX formats. And this file needs to have all the data to be encoded in the QR codes. Once done, you just have to wait for the QR Codes to be generated and download them in a zip folder.
For more information, here is a detailed guide on how to generate QR Codes in bulk.
III. Create QR Codes programmatically
If you want to integrate QR code generation into your own information system, QR Code API can help you do it.
It allows you to generate QR Codes programmatically in real-time. Hence, there is no manual intervention required to create the QR Codes.
That’s it. That is all you need to know about a safe QR Code generator. To put your mind at ease, a lot of marketers are already using QR Codes in their campaigns. So, get started today and add QR Codes to boost your campaign success.