Are you tired of typing and searching to access information or content? Enter QR codes – the convenient, time-saving solution to get the content you’re looking for in just a few taps! QR codes have become increasingly popular in recent years, and if you’re new to them, don’t worry – scanning them is easy! Here are the simple steps you need to follow:
But wait, before you start scanning away, there’s something you should know: not all QR codes are created equal. Some QR codes can open a website, others can share contact information, and some can even connect to Wi-Fi! So now that you know how to scan them, you’re ready to start using QR codes like a pro and accessing the content and information you want, without the hassle of typing and searching!
Understanding QR codes
QR codes, or Quick Response Codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that can store and convey massive amounts of information. These codes were first developed in 1994 by Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota in Japan, and have since then gained significant popularity worldwide. Unlike traditional barcodes which can only store information horizontally, QR codes can store information both horizontally and vertically. They can store anything from a website URL, email address, phone number, and even a whole document.
These codes have become an effective tool for businesses to promote their products and services, as they can be scanned using a smartphone camera. This allows users to access information quickly, making QR codes an efficient platform for mobile marketing. In addition, QR codes can be used in various fields such as education, travel, and healthcare for quick and easy access to information.
Accessing a QR scanner
Scanning a QR code is relatively easy and can be done using a smartphone camera or a QR code reader app. To access the QR scanner on your smartphone, simply open the camera and focus it on the QR code. Depending on the phone’s operating system, the camera may prompt you to click on a notification or provide a link to open the associated link or action.
Alternatively, you can download a QR code reader app from your app store, whether it’s the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store if your device doesn’t have a built-in QR scanner. There are numerous free and paid scanning apps available, and most function the same way. They open the phone camera and scan the QR code, and then redirect the user to the associated action or link.
Scanning QR codes with a smartphone camera
Scanning QR codes using a smartphone camera is the most straightforward method. Once you’ve opened the camera and centered on the code, you’ll need to wait for your camera to focus on the box. Sometimes the camera won’t focus, and in this case, moving the phone slightly closer or further, or tapping the screen to enable manual focus, can help.
Once your camera identifies the code successfully, you’ll be presented with a notification. Clicking on this notification will open the associated content, whether it’s a website or a specific action. If the code stores a piece of text or contact information, you’ll typically see an option to save this to your device.
Using a QR code reader app
To scan QR codes using a dedicated reader app, you’ll first have to download it from the app store. Some of the well-known apps include QR Code Reader, QR Code Scanner, and Free QR Code Reader, among others.
Once you’ve installed the app, click on it to open it and focus your phone camera on the QR code. The app will scan the code, and in the case of links, the code reader app will redirect you to the linked page without ever having to leave. Additionally, the app will permit you to save common types of data, such as contact information, events, and coupons, among others.
Tips for successful scanning
- Size matters: Ensure that the QR code is big enough to scan properly. Larger QR codes are easier to scan than smaller ones – generally, a minimum of 2 cm x 2 cm is ideal.
- Good lighting is crucial: Ensure that there is enough light on your phone and the code to enable a clear image.
- Keep your hands steady: It’s important to keep your hands steady as shaky hands can create blurry pictures that are unreadable.
- Sharp angles: Avoid placing the code in tight corners where your phone camera may have trouble picking it up.
What to do after scanning the code
Once you’ve scanned the QR code, the resulting action will depend on the information stored on the code. This information can be anything from a simple URL, an email address, or even a multi-page document. If it’s a URL, you’ll usually be redirected to a website with additional information on a product, service, or promotion. If it’s contact information, you’ll typically receive an option to save the contact to your phonebook, and if it’s an event, you’ll be given the option to add it to your calendar, among other actions.
QR code security precautions
While QR codes are useful and convenient, they can also be a doorway for hackers to compromise your device. To ensure that you’re safe when scanning them, be sure to follow these security precautions:
- Watch out for malicious codes: Be cautious of strange-looking QR codes in public, as they could be a malicious or virus-laden code.
- Ensure that the content is legitimate: Check that the site linked to the QR code is genuine, and belongs to the company that you expect it should.
- Don’t save unfamiliar data: Avoid saving contact information, coupon codes, or other data from unknown third-parties as these could be malicious.
- Update regularly: Ensure that your phone operating system and security software is up-to-date on the latest version.
By taking these precautions, you’ll be able to utilize the convenience and functionality of QR codes while staying safe and secure online.