3 Ways to Protect User Data When Using QR Codes
The QR code has become a ubiquitous part of the consumer experience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses seek ways to limit physical contact.
Consumer confidence in the QR code is also high. Eighty-seven percent of respondents in a 2020 Ivanti Report felt secure using a QR code to complete a financial transaction. However, in the same report, 31 percent of respondents claimed that they had scanned a QR code that either did something they weren't expecting or took them to a suspicious website.
Companies must recognize the dangers of working with QR code platforms that fail to comply with industry standards for consumer safety. Here are three ways companies can protect their customers' data when using QR code technology:
1. Consistently brand your QR codes.
At a minimum, when designing your custom QR code, make sure to integrate the colors and logos affiliated with your brand.
If you have the bandwidth and budget, you should also customize the QR code link to include your company’s root domain. Using your company’s root domain also communicates a baseline of protection to your customers. By integrating root domains, you can help prevent consumers from using falsified QR codes, which are commonly deployed in phishing attacks.
2. Choose a secure QR code platform.
Identify a QR code platform that's compliant with security procedures and the law where you and your customers are located. For example, in the U.S., SOC 2 audits procedures related to data security and CCPA provides greater control to customers over their data.
Selecting a platform that meets your company’s security standards helps prevent bad actors from accessing data. Without proper security, hackers can get into a business’ account, access the QR code, and redirect it to a new domain. This could lead to a wide-scale phishing attack, targeting thousands of consumers who use a company’s QR code, compromising their data, which can range from SSNs to bank account information.
Compromised customer data can erode consumer trust in your brand and ultimately impact revenue. Conversely, a secure QR code platform can save businesses millions of dollars in capital.
3. Integrate customer data into one data warehouse.
All customer data should live in one place, so avoid platforms that create data silos. This is important because if you enter a partnership where your data is stored in disparate locations and you want to leave, you may be at risk of:
- getting locked in with this provider to preserve your data; and
- spending time and resources on tracking and correctly aligning the now disparate data.
Retrieving siloed data costs time and money. This process can take months, which means that — in the meantime — you’ll have heightened security risks and are running less effective campaigns due to these misaligned data sets.
Consumers Rely on Marketers for QR Code Best Practices
As a marketing leader within your organization, it’s your job to deliver exceptional customer experiences at every level. To accomplish this you must choose the most secure platform possible and ensure that your QR campaigns are consistently branded with the rest of your assets.
It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that QR codes are still a fairly new technology, and many consumers aren't well-versed in their security yet. Be the consumer’s best advocate by partnering with the right marketing technology providers. The right ones will understand the importance of protecting your customer’s data at every digital touchpoint.
Ravi Pratap Maddimsetty is the chief technology officer of MobStac, a physical-to-digital experience management solution.
Ravi Pratap Maddimsetty is the CTO of MobStac, and is responsible for all technology strategy, product innovation, and engineering execution. MobStac's Beaconstac platform is a phygital customer engagement solution that helps retailers and brands create mobile connections with customers to bridge physical and digital worlds. The company is headquartered in New York and Bangalore, India.