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Photo: shisu_ka (Shutterstock) You may have noticed that we are firmly in the age of the QR code—every restaurant, state agency, and shop you interact with has a QR code prominently displayed. The technology is one of convenience, taking us to information we want quickly and directly, while hiding the actual destination until we have arrived. That means that what QR codes and URL shorteners offer in terms of convenience costs us in terms of security. So how do you know if a QR code or short URL is safe to use? Trust no one First of all, never assume a short URL or a QR code is legit— always assume it isn’t. They are easy to generate , and bad QR code stickers can be easily applied over a legitimate QR code in a restaurant, for example. So even though you think you’re opening the beer list for your favorite brewery, you might be taken to a phishing scam or other harmful site. It’s so easy to fake a QR code in a public place that you should just assume they’re all fake. Also, anyone can throw a short URL into an email, text, or other communication and you may have no way of knowing if it’s legit or not—so assume those are harmful, as well. Go manual The safest thing to do when a business offers a short URL or QR code as a convenience is to go directly to their site manually. Yes, this defeats the […]