How to Find Hidden Cameras in Your Airbnb
In recent years, there have been several sensational stories about how users of Airbnb (online site for short-term rental of private dwellings) have found surveillance cameras in rented houses and apartments.
These can be used to control guest behaviour, or they may have more sinister intentions. In any case, a camera in the room makes many feel uncomfortable.
No matter how disturbing these stories may be, remember that these are the exception, and not the rule. Most people who provide accommodation respect your privacy and space.
If you still worry that someone is watching you in a rented apartment or hotel room, then follow these recommendations. HowToFind presents several techniques to help ensure that facilities are not under surveillance.
1. First check the bathroom and bedroom
Hidden cameras are usually installed in the bedroom or bathroom. It's not a rule of the day, but even so, these rooms need to be checked first.
Start with the simplest: think about where you would place a camera. The old rule "to catch a criminal you have to think like a criminal," in this case, works very well.
Inspect the room and select the places where it looks best. First, pay attention to the upper corners of the bedroom, walls, and objects in the vicinity of the bathroom or bed.
2. Check electrical appliances
For example, smoke detectors are a useful detail in the home, and in some countries they are even mandatory. But now there are widely available cameras that resemble these sensors. But they are only similar in appearance. Looking closer, the device will have a camera lens (while sensors have nothing that looks like a lens) and a memory card or slot for it.
Any other electrical device in the bedroom or bathroom that looks suspicious deserves special attention. Pay attention to strange holes or lenses, or chargers where there shouldn't be. Such things should be alarming: why should an alarm clock, even a modern one, be connected to the Internet?
In any case, if you see a suspicious device, look at the brand and serial number, then just Google it. Most of these cameras are bought in ordinary shops, and you quickly find out what it is.
3. Examine small objects
The main feature of the cameras is, of course, the lens. They can be hidden in small objects: even door handles, lampshades, houseplants, and picture frames. There are even miniature cameras that look like screws. Take a look at the little details. For example, even a stuffed toy can have a small camera instead of an eye.
Not sure you can find the device? Stick chewing gum on all suspicious holes, and problem solved.
4. Check drawers and cabinets
In addition to suspicious corners and/or holes (e.g. in furniture), carefully inspect shelves: it is easy to hide cameras in them. Be sure to check drawers, bedside tables, and cupboards. Sometimes cameras are in unexpected places, but a cursory inspection will help detect them.
How To Find A Camera With The Help Of A Smartphone
Using only a smartphone, you can detect hidden cameras. Of course, this does not give a 100 percent result, but the cameras in rented Airbnb houses and apartments were not installed by professionals.
Method 1. Use the flashlight
First, you can look for the flash of the camera lens. To do this, turn off the lights and close the blinds to make the room as dark as possible. Then move around the room with the flashlight on, carefully observing the effect. If you notice reflections, this is probably a hidden lens.
Method 2. Download a special application
There are a number of applications that will help you find hidden cameras. For example, Hidden Camera Detector from the AppStore, and its analog in Google Play.
You can also use applications like Fing or iNet to detect cameras connected to a Wi-Fi network. These provide data on all devices connected to the network, and between them it can detect cameras. This will help in cases where it is difficult to find the device yourself.
What To Do If You Find A Camera In A Rented Apartment
- If you find a device that looks like a camera, look it up on the Internet. You can even take a picture of it to find an analog through images.
- Call the police. Law enforcement officials will record that a camera was actually installed. Important: Do not turn off the camera before the police arrive, so law enforcement officers can make sure the camera is connected to the network.
- If you rented an apartment through a service such as Airbnb, contact their customer service. As a general rule, victims are compensated for the cost of rent and the owner of the facility is removed from the base.
- Write a statement under the article "Violation of privacy." If damage occurred due to the presence of hidden cameras, you are entitled to claim damages. If the video of the cameras was not posted anywhere, the likelihood of proving the damage is much less. But even in this case, you have the right to seek compensation for moral damages.
Simply cover these cameras with a band-aid or tape to make sure no one is looking at you. Even Mark Zuckerberg uses these protection methods, so they need to be taken into account.