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Security expert reveals how to find hidden cameras in your Airbnb or hotel room using your phone

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

A cyber security expert demonstrated how easy it is for Airbnb hosts and hotels to find surveillance cameras in their homes.

Thomas Ham, the owner of Spy Catchers LLC, explains in the TikTok video that guests staying at an Airbnb or a hotel can simply detect any recording devices (if there are any) by shining a light into a hidden camera lens.

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Experts, including Ham, believe that when exposed to light, the camera lenses will reflect a blue or red colour.

Devices such as an alarm clock, a smoke detector, or a shower head are common places to look.

Some experts also recommend downloading the free smartphone app “Fing.”

“The ‘Fing App’ works if you have the WiFi password for the space you’re staying at. It will log on to that network and it will actually give you a listing of all the devices currently listed on that network. It tries its best to give you an idea of what each device is. Whether it’s a cellphone IP, cameras, things of that nature,” said Ham.

Another recommendation from Ham is to turn off the WiFi and router when you first enter a rental property.

If you get a call from the host informing you that the WiFi has been switched off, that could be a good starting point for a discussion regarding if there are any cameras on the property.

Airbnb has policies in place to safeguard its visitors from covert recording devices, which are defined as “any mechanism that can be used to capture or transmit audio, video, or still images.”

According to the company’s website and app, everyone in the AirbnB community respects each other’s privacy, and hosts must disclose security cameras and other recording equipment in their listings and refrain from placing them in private locations such as bathrooms and bedrooms.

Airbnb also lists rules specifically for hosts and guests.

For hosts: 

“If you’re a host and you have any type of security camera and/or other recording device in or around a listing, even if it’s not turned on or hooked up, we require that you indicate its presence in the Things to know section under Health & safety. We also require you to disclose how guests will be monitored and if an active recording is taking place,” it said.

If a device is discovered after booking, the guest can cancel the room and obtain a refund, according to Airbnb.

For guests:

“If you’re a guest, our Standards & Expectations require that you not spy on other people, or otherwise violate others’ privacy,” Airbnb said.

“Our policy prohibits the use of a security camera or any other recording device by a guest to monitor a host or any third party present in the listing without the consent of that person.”

According to the website, any breaches may result in suspension or removal from the Airbnb community.

Image Credit: Getty

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