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QR codes – The digital gateway to information

2 minutes reading time
3-17 years
Tool description
© photothek.net

Small black and white patterns have long adorned billboards, flyers, packaging or magazines. The Corona pandemic has given QR codes a big boost. But what is behind the images and how can they be used?

What is a QR code and how do you use them?

The Quick Response (QR for short) code is basically a small data storage device. This summarizes a wide variety of information in abbreviated form, which can then be retrieved quickly and easily. The encrypted content is converted to a pattern by black and white dots. The information behind the pattern remains hidden for now without a smartphone. Modern smartphone models usually have a camera that can automatically read QR codes as soon as you capture the code with your camera. For older smartphones, the app stores offer plenty of alternative options to scan the QR codes and decode the pattern. The information that becomes visible after scanning can be useful, exciting or helpful for you. For example, the pattern hides the menu of your favorite restaurant or the link to an interesting website.

Using QR codes creatively with children

QR codes are no longer unknown to children and young people. They also perceive them in everyday life. They are particularly interested in deciphering the codes with their smartphones.

QR codes can be used to quickly develop small, simple and also interesting games. The codes can be created with a code generator on the Internet and downloaded or printed. The codes can then hide photos, videos, quizzes, audios or links to websites that are a puzzle piece of the game. These can then be used, for example, in a digital scavenger hunt for the next children’s birthday party or for a rally through the home or outdoors. An auditory treasure hunt is another idea for how children can use the codes in everyday life.

How secure are QR codes really?

The unknown behind the codes also has its pitfalls in everyday life. Where does the code take us? Is the retrieved information really safe?

If you are asked to share your personal information, make sure you can trust the source and the provider. If any link or code looks suspicious or different than expected, close the application. It is important to talk about the dangers together with your children. Read more about the risks involved in our article Fraud on the Net.

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