QR Code Cybersecurity Tips for Atlanta Businesses

by | May 16, 2023 | "How To" Articles, Cybersecurity

INSI QR Code Cybersecurity Tips for Atlanta Businesses.

QR codes have been around since 1994. However, the popularity of QR codes reached its height in 2020 when the world moved to a contactless society. At that time, Innovative Network Systems, Inc. (INSI) warned our readers of the dangers of QR codes, and that threat has only accelerated since. The Federal Burrough of Investigation (FBI) has also issued a warning on QR codes.

What are QR Codes?

QR codes are smart device matrix barcodes that contain locater, identifier, or tracking data. After the user swipes the link, it redirects the user to a website or application. 

QR codes have become commonplace in recent years. You can find them on marketing pamphlets, store windows, bus stops, informational flyers, real estate signs, business cards, and even games like Pokemon Pokedex, to name a few. 

How Can QR Code Swiping Hurt a Small Business?

The human eye cannot read QR codes, allowing scammers to easily disguise the images with malicious code that gives them access to company applications like email or shared files. In addition, most QR codes contain cookies that track the patron’s purchase history, contact information, and location.

In 2018, Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Reported that 75% of Americans knew their smart devices could be hacked, and 80% knew that it could give cybercriminals access to all of the data on their devices. Yet, they keep swiping.

Below are the most recent QR code fraud schemes that have hit the news:

QR Code Cybersecurity Tip 1: Parking Lots 

Fraudulent QR codes are popping up in pay-to-park stations across the United States. Unfortunately, many have reported their patrons have been redirected to sites that store bank information or download dangerous malware to the patron’s device. 

QR Code Cybersecurity Tip 2: Restaurants

Since 2020, the restaurant industry has been hit hard with staffing shortages and rising costs. However, QR Codes have helped reduce labor costs and order errors by 40%. Many found new ways to generate additional revenue through membership rewards and merchandise sales. Unfortunately, cyber thieves quickly learned how to replace the code with a link to a fake, realistic-looking site asking end-users to set up an account or divulge personal information. 

QR Code Cybersecurity Tip 3: Phishing Emails

Cyber thieves are now inserting QR codes into phishing emails. This is because sophisticated cyber thieves know that the security software cannot detect QR codes, but they can see attachments and links. Therefore, they have a better chance of luring their intended target. It is also easier and less risky to cast out a wide phishing net than to physically put QR codes on parking meters or other physical sites. 

Protect Your Business from QR Code Swipers

If you are concerned about your end-users swiping malicious QR codes, then you need a way to assess and protect your data at your endpoints. INSI has three programs that could help with this:

Fortify-IT – Our Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) program provides mobile protection for your general employee population and BYOD users. This program will provide reporting, assistance with end-user remediation, policy creation, assisted deployment, threat escalations, and mobile advisory and recommendations.

MobileAssess-IT – INSI’s Mobile Risk Assessment, MobileAssess-IT, provides experienced assessment experts who evaluate security risks to mobile phones/tablets, establish policies, assess the impact on policies, and recommend actions to secure and align mobile devices to your business practices.

Phishing Test and TrainingINSI will send your end-users fake emails with phishing links in them. Once an end-user clicks on the email, it will immediately notify our team of which email and the link they opened. We can use this to help train your end-users on what to look for so they will not fall victim to a real-life scenario. 

About INSI: The Best MSP in Atlanta!


Innovative Network Systems, Inc. has a unique approach to integrating IT support and cybersecurity. Our month-to-month programs range from basic support to proactive support, managed support, and customized support. Each program is tailored to the client’s needs and internal IT strengths.  

For more information about cybersecurity dangers and the preventative measures for your company, connect with the top MSP in Atlanta; Contact INSI: 770-387-2424, option 2 or click the link below. In addition, we offer 16 different cybersecurity programs to protect you and your data.


About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years of experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and want to get notified when a new article is posted, click here.

To make an appointment for more information about INSI and our Marietta and Atlanta metro IT Support services, click here.