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Digital Security: How to Keep Yourself Safe When Using QR Codes

Digital Security: How to Keep Yourself Safe When Using QR Codes

In our increasingly digital world, QR codes have become an integral part of various transactions. Whether buying your favorite cup of coffee or transferring funds via Maya, the convenience and efficiency offered by QR codes are undeniable. However, as with any technology, there are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid security risks.

Naturally, you wouldn’t want your personal and financial information falling into the wrong hands. That said, make sure you follow these tips to keep yourself safe when using QR codes:

1. Verify before you scan

First, always verify the source of the QR code before scanning. This precaution is particularly important when it comes to financial transactions. Scan QR codes only from sources that you trust.

2. Use your phone’s built-in QR scanner

There are a ton of QR scanner apps on both the App Store and Play Store. However, some of these apps may carry security risks like malware or in some cases, may even collect sensitive financial information. Most modern smartphones come with a built-in QR code scanner in the camera app, which you should use rather than downloading a separate QR scanner app. If you still prefer to use an app, utilize the QR scanner feature of your digital bank or e-wallet app.

3. Be wary of download and/or log-in prompts

If you scan a QR code and it prompts you to download an app or file, make sure it’s from a source you trust. Similarly, if a QR code takes you to a log-in page, verify that the QR code brought you to either the official app or website. 

4. Have the right security features in place

Ensure your device is equipped with adequate security features. This includes keeping your operating system and apps updated with the latest versions, and installing a reliable security app. 

The future of QR codes

As the digital landscape evolves, cashless transactions are becoming the norm across the Philippines. In response to this shift, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched the QR Ph program.

With QR Ph, BSP-supervised financial institutions are able to create QR codes that work with the platforms of all participating banks or e-wallets. Whether you’re shopping in physical stores or on online platforms like the Smart Online Store, you stand to benefit from QR Ph in several ways:

  1. Efficiency: The use of QR Ph not only simplifies the payment process but also speeds it up, reducing checkout time. This is especially beneficial during peak shopping periods when quick transactions are essential.
  1. Integration with Digital Wallets: QR Ph’s partnership with digital wallets, like Maya, expands its reach, making it a versatile payment option for various online platforms, including the Smart Online Store.
  1. Traceability: QR Ph transactions are easily traceable, providing users with a clear record of their purchases. This aids in better financial management and dispute resolution, if necessary
  1. Security: QR Ph has multiple layers of security in place, helping them avoid issues like hacking and phishing. 

The use of QR codes offers incredible convenience, but don’t lower your guard. Your safety and security are more important. That said, make sure to follow these tips and take advantage of QR Ph when shopping in-store and online. Stay safe and stay smart!

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