Our privacy is at stake nowadays, everything is for sale and a person can never be sure if someone is watching. We think that security and privacy should be regarded highly in every industry, and therefore can only advise you to always be on a lookout.
The tourist world has rarely been so shaken as a month ago when a scandal in South Korea emerged involving cameras hidden in rooms and even toilets of some of the much-visited hotels. In the aftermath, a family from New Zealand suffered the same issue during their vacation stay in Ireland, which they organized through Airbnb. The tourist Neal Barker wrote the following in his fb post: “The host admitted to the concealed camera over the phone only after being presented with our irrefutable proof.“ It is still unclear whether this particular host was charging for access to the live streaming from the premises, although reportedly several individuals have been arrested in connection to this incident. In South Korea for example, live streaming was charged $44.95. This is a reality. Nevertheless, we take privacy seriously and have therefore prepared a short guide on how to protect yourself when renting a room.
Hidden cameras are usually very small, and extremely difficult to spot. They are hidden in places you cannot imagine. Here are some of the tips what to look for.
Put Yourself in The Shoes of Someone Trying to Take the Shots
If you are trying to catch a criminal, you must think like a criminal. Most probably you would hide a camera in a well-positioned place, which should enable you to take the widest shot possible. Think of night stands, lamps, fire alarms and smoke detectors. There have been reports about cameras hidden in our smartphones and laptops. Pay special attention to objects that appear to be out of place or unnecessary, for example: two instead of one smoke detector, double light switches, back of the books, mirrors, the bottom of the flowerpots, hairdryer holders, etc.
Look for Reflection of The Lenses
This basically means that you should watch for the unusual reflection on certain objects. If you suspect that an object is reflecting something more than just its surface, there is probably more than meets the eye there. Lenses of the cameras are like glass, and if you shine some light on them, they will reflect it and should be very visible.
Scanning the Wi-Fi network
Since perpetrators are tech-savvy, you have to keep their pace. Cameras have IP addresses and they are connected to wi-fi networks. Scanning for devices which are connected to the network in the premises (which you are using as well) is doable by downloading various apps for scanning. Once you find something unusual, something that stands out, you should report it. However, if the camera is attached to a private network to which you have no access, the device which is recording you will not be visible on your scan.
Anyhow, in case your suspicions were raised, feel free to not just report the problem, but to unplug the suspicious object – as some of the cameras need a plug-in power in order to function.
How do you feel about hidden cameras in public, as well as inside hotel rooms?