How to spot hidden cameras in your Airbnb or hotel room using your phone
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DENVER (KDVRName) – A viral video on TikTok is trending after a cybersecurity expert showed viewers how easy it is for Airbnb hosts and hotels to hide surveillance cameras in their properties without guests knowing .
Spy Catchers LLCa professional technical surveillance countermeasures company, works with people to help track hidden devices such as surveillance cameras.
According to company owner Thomas Ham, work has doubled since the start of the pandemic.
Like in the TikTok video, Ham says guests staying at an Airbnb or hotel can easily find any recording devices (if there are any), by shining a light into a hidden camera lens.
Experts including Ham claim that the camera lenses will reflect a blue or red color when hit by light.
Typical areas you should look for include devices such as an alarm clock, smoke detector, or showerhead.
Some experts also suggest downloading the free smartphone app, “Fing”.
“The Fing app works if you have the Wi-Fi password for the space you’re staying in. It will connect to that network and actually give you a list of all the devices currently listed on that network. It does its best to give you an idea of what each device is. Whether it’s cellphone IP, cameras, things of that nature,” Ham said.
Ham offered another tip: When you first enter a rental property, turn off Wi-Fi and the router.
If you receive a call from the host informing you that the WiFi has been turned off, this could be a good starting point to start a conversation about the presence of cameras on the property.
Airbnb has policies in place to protect its guests from hidden recording devices, which it defines as “any mechanism that can be used to capture or transmit audio, video, or still images.”
At his website and in its application, the company said it requires all members of the “Airbnb community to respect each other’s privacy,” adding that hosts must disclose security cameras and other recording devices in their listings and refrain from adding them in private spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms. .
Airbnb also lists rules specific to hosts and guests.
“If you are a host and have any type of security camera and/or other recording device in or around a listing, even if it is not turned on or plugged in, we ask that you indicate its presence in the Things to Know section under Health and Safety. We also ask that you disclose how guests will be monitored and whether an active check-in is in progress,” he said. Airbnb added that if a device is disclosed after booking, the customer may cancel the booking and receive a refund.
“If you are a guest, our Standards and Expectations require that you do not spy on other people or violate another’s privacy,” Airbnb said. “Our policy prohibits the use of a security camera or other recording device by a guest to monitor a host or any third party listed without that person’s consent.”
The company says any violations could result in suspension or removal from the Airbnb community.
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