How to Create QR Codes and Avoid Scanning Dangers

mobile phone with qr code

Creating Your Own QR Codes and Staying Safe While Scanning Them.

QR codes have become an integral part of our digital lives, providing a quick and efficient way to access information, websites, and more. In this post, we’ll explore how to create your own QR codes and discuss the potential dangers associated with scanning malicious QR codes.

What are QR Codes?

QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that can store various types of information, such as website URLs, contact information, or text. Creating your own QR codes can be a useful skill, whether for personal or business purposes.

How to Create a QR Code:

  • Choose a QR Code Generator: There are numerous online QR code generators available for free. Some popular options include QR Code Generator, QR Stuff, and QRCode Monkey.

  • Select the Type of Content: Determine what type of content you want to encode into your QR code. It could be a URL, a message, a phone number, or even Wi-Fi network credentials.

  • Generate the QR Code: Enter the content, customize the QR code’s design if desired, and then generate the code.

  • Test Your QR Code: Always test the QR code to ensure it works correctly by scanning it with a reliable QR code scanner app.

  • Share Your QR Code: Use your QR code for promotions, business cards, or sharing information with friends and family.

QR Code Uses

You can create codes for all kinds of things:

  • Website URL’s
  • YouTube
  • Image File
  • Audio File
  • Video File
  • PDF File
  • Location
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • App URL
  • Skype Call
  • Zoom Meeting
  • Dropbox
  • iTunes Link
  • Plain Text
  • Phone Number
  • SMS Message
  • Email Address
  • Email Message
  • Contact Details
  • Business Card
  • Attendance
  • Event

The Dangers of Scanning QR Codes

While QR codes are incredibly convenient, they can also pose certain risks. Here are some potential dangers to be aware of:

Malicious QR Codes:

Cybercriminals can create QR codes that lead to malicious websites or install malware on your device. To stay safe, only scan QR codes from trusted sources. Be cautious when scanning QR codes in public places or from unknown origins.

Data Privacy Concerns:

When you scan a QR code, you might be sharing personal information or granting access to your device. Always check the permissions requested by the scanning app and ensure you’re comfortable with the data you’re sharing.

Phishing Attacks:

QR codes can be used in phishing attempts. Scammers may create QR codes that imitate legitimate websites to steal your login credentials. Double-check the URL and website’s authenticity before entering sensitive information.

Outdated Information:

QR codes can lead to outdated content. If a business or individual doesn’t update their QR codes, you might access irrelevant or incorrect information.

Examples of Malicious QR Codes

First Example:

You’re in a coffee shop for your morning brew. You take a seat pick up the menu. On the menu is a QR code for free Wi-Fi. You have some work to do or maybe just want to browse online. So, you scan the QR code to access their web portal to sign in and get free Wi-Fi.

This sounds perfectly normal right? Well, this is normal for many establishments like hotels, airports, coffee shops etc. so what’s the harm? The harm is that QR code was stuck to the menu by a nefarious threat actor. The web portal you have just accessed was fake! It’s a simple copy of the legit web portal that looks perfectly normal. It even works, you have accessed the internet. But now everything you’re doing online is being monitored. All your data is being captured. Your passwords, credit cards numbers, everything entered from the moment you accessed the portal now belongs to the threat actor.

Scary enough for you? well here’s the next…

Second Example:

The QR code you just scanned was linked to an interesting looking PDF document.

Did you know PDF documents can be used to inject malicious payloads? Code that infects your device. The PDF will look real and work as it should. Once the PDF is opened, the payload is executed without your knowledge.

The payload could be all kinds a bad, but worst of all the payload could have given the threat actor full access and control of your phone or device. Access to call logs, SMS messages, your photo library, or contacts list. It doesn’t end there it gets far worse. The threat actor can start your microphone and record you. They can take photos or video from front and back cameras of your phone. They can know your GPS location at all times. All this from you just scanning an innocent looking QR code.

Ok well that might have scared you just a little, sorry about that, I’m just glad you now know the potential dangers of scanning malicious QR codes. Maybe next time you will think twice when scanning that random QR code.

Useful Sites to Create Your own QR Codes:

You can make your own QR code for free at: QR Stuff.

Try it out and see how easy it is to do. At the time of writing this post, it only allows 50 scans per QR-Code for free. Go have some fun.

Other great QR-Code sites include:

Once you see how easy these are to make, you will understand the dangers, and possibility of accidently scanning malicious QR codes.


QR codes are powerful tools for sharing information, but they should be used with caution. By following best practices for creating and scanning QR codes, you can harness their benefits while minimizing the associated risks. Always be mindful of the source and content of QR codes to ensure your digital safety.

Remember that staying safe while using QR codes is crucial in our increasingly dangerous digital world. Use them wisely, and you’ll find them to be a valuable asset in your personal and professional life. I hope you never scan any malicious QR codes, but at least now you are aware of the dangers.

That’s All Folks!

You can read all of our Ethical Hacking guides here: Ethical Hacking


Basic Security Testing with Kali Linux:
ALFA Network Wi-Fi Adapter:

This Wi-Fi adapter is essential if you are to learn Wi-Fi Hacking.

Luke Barber

Hello, fellow tech enthusiasts! I'm Luke, a passionate learner and explorer in the vast realms of technology. Welcome to my digital space where I share the insights and adventures gained from my journey into the fascinating worlds of Arduino, Python, Linux, Ethical Hacking, and beyond. Armed with qualifications including CompTIA A+, Sec+, Cisco CCNA, Unix/Linux and Bash Shell Scripting, JavaScript Application Programming, Python Programming and Ethical Hacking, I thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of coding, computers, and networks. As a tech enthusiast, I'm on a mission to simplify the complexities of technology through my blogs, offering a glimpse into the marvels of Arduino, Python, Linux, and Ethical Hacking techniques. Whether you're a fellow coder or a curious mind, I invite you to join me on this journey of continuous learning and discovery.

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