Let's face it, there are scary people in the world. That's why we lock our doors at night and why we don't want to walk alone in a dark alley. When we rent a place, like a hotel or vacation home, we usually don't expect anyone to look at us. We expect a rental space to be private, so we can go through our usual routines private, undress private and be intimate with our partner in private.
It is one thing to have security cameras to protect property and provide security on the outside of buildings, but there is something else to have hidden cameras in areas such as bathrooms and bedrooms.
However, voyeurism is not so incredible. In Toronto, a couple found a hidden camera inside an alarm clock in their Airbnb rental back at the end of 2018. The camera pointed to the bed. The couple's experience is just one of many, as several reports from Airbnb hidden cameras have emerged in recent years.
As disturbing as it is to hear about events like these, remember that these cases are the exception and not the norm. If you are worried that someone is filming you in your Airbnb rental, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your rental space is not monitored.
Look for some gadgets that do not look normal
The Toronto couple found the hidden camera because they noticed something was missing about the alarm clock in their room. It was connected to a wire that looked like a phone charger, which didn't seem right. This led to the couple investigating further. Smoke detectors are another known hiding place for cameras. Check if the smoke detector looks abnormal in some way.
If you notice something different about a technical device in your room, check out the device and remove the battery. For example, you might see that the gadget has another charger, a camera hole, another type of battery, or a light that doesn't belong. If you see someone sketchy-looking tech, you can also search the brand and model number online to see if you have a hidden camera gadget.
Search for camera lens
Hidden cameras come inside small items like pens, motion detectors, Bluetooth speakers and necklaces. There are also small, free-standing cameras that are 1 inch or less, which people can hide in normal interiors such as lampshades, picture frames, house plants and blinds. Look for some holes where someone could have placed a small camera. Also, turn off all the lights in space and shine a flashlight around the area to look for a camera lens. The lens should reflect the light, which would make it easier to detect.
Check boxes, cabinets and openings
Sometimes people hide recording devices in storage spaces. An Airbnb guest claims they found a cell phone recording in the bathroom under the sink, for example. Examine areas such as bookshelves, bureaus and wardrobes, especially if these areas could hide a unit that can record an area like your bedroom or bathroom.
Use a scanner
If you're really hell of preventing hidden devices from invading your privacy, you can invest in a hidden device detector. Cameras using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to send or receive data will emit an RF signal. You can buy an RF signal detector to pick up those signals and then find a hidden camera. For example, thiscosts about $ 50 on Amazon and can find mini-hidden cameras, wireless IP cameras, and other types of bugs and recording devices.
You can buy other detectors anywhere between $ 20 and up at $ 300. It just depends on the features and quality you're looking for in a device scanner. No RF device will find hidden cameras 100 percent of the time though. If a camera records but does not send data, an RF detector will not be retrieved from the camera.
You can also install some apps on the phone that can scan for hidden cameras. These apps, like the Hidden Camera Detector, may not be as accurate as an RF scanner, but for under $ 5, try them.
In addition to scanning for a camera with an RF scanner or app, you can also scan the Wi-Fi network for any camera connected to the internet. Apps such as Fing or iNet let you know which devices are connected to a network.
What to do if you find a hidden camera
If your search for recording devices in your holiday home comes back positive, there are a few steps to take immediately. Contact the local police so they can investigate. Also contact Airbnb and report the incident.
Placing a surveillance device on someone in an area like a bedroom or bathroom is against the rules of the airline. It is also against the law to spy on someone in a private area without their consent. Also, if this Airbnb host looks at you, they are likely to see others out, and you need to report the right channels to prevent this from happening to other people.