You’ve packed up the car, filled it up with gas, and done some research on bars and restaurants. You’re ready for a stress-free weekend in your Airbnb. Your weekend home or apartment may not be as private as you think, though. Airbnb guests from all over the world have complained about hidden cameras that are actively recording them.
Airbnb has a clear policy about this controversial topic: you can’t record with hidden spy cameras. But with more than 6 million Airbnb listings around the world, it is impossible to keep track of this. Even worse, iPropertyManagement says that 13.45% of safety problems are caused by unsafe or unpleasant conditions like hidden recording devices.
You don’t need to be James Bond to find hidden cameras. There are a few easy ways to do it.
1. Look for electronics that are strange
Even if you don’t believe it, many wireless cameras are just sitting there in plain sight. After you get settled in, look around the whole apartment or house, including the bathrooms and bedrooms.
Keep an eye out for things that are particularly big and stand out in a room. For example, a wall charger that isn’t the right color should catch your eye. Your host probably wouldn’t leave a purse on the floor of the bedroom, either.
Spy cameras can also be made to look like many other common household items, such as:
- Alarm clocks (it could be Clock Hidden Camera)
- Wall-mounted clocks
- Smoke detectors
- Light bulbs
- Neckties and tie clips
If a charger or alarm clock is facing a shower or bed, you should look into it. Most likely, hidden cameras are aimed at where people would stand. The angle should be the biggest clue.
2. How to Use a Flashlight to Find Spy Cameras
You can also look for hidden cameras in your Airbnb by shining your flashlight through every room.
Most cameras made by companies that sell surveillance equipment are made of plastic and look like common household items. But for the recording or stream to stay good, the lens itself must be made of glass.
Glass surfaces, like the lenses of wireless cameras, reflect light. If there are hidden cameras in the unit, the light should be reflected back by the glass lens.
When you use your flashlight to look for hidden nanny cameras, there are two important things to keep in mind. First, make sure all the lights are off so you can see any small reflections or infrared night vision lights. Second, move slowly and carefully. Spy cameras are meant to stay hidden and can be very small.
3. Use Wi-Fi Sniffing Apps to look for hidden devices
Modern cameras are made to look like they belong, but technology has also made it possible to find hidden surveillance cameras without having to stop watching Netflix. Using Wi-Fi sniffing apps, you can find recording devices connected to the local network in your Airbnb.
Wireless cameras must be connected to the internet so that the host can watch the guests on a live stream. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, these more advanced ways to connect are a dead giveaway.
Once you’re connected to your host’s Wi-Fi network, you can use an app called “Wi-Fi sniffing” to see if there are any other devices connected. A lot of these apps, like Fing, can be used on smartphones. Scanning the new network to find other devices, like spy cameras, is as easy as clicking a button.
But keep in mind that there are likely to be a few devices connected that don’t record. For example, smart TVs need to be connected to the internet in order to use streaming apps like Netflix. Fing gives you more information about a device by giving you its MAC address. Once you find another device, go to MacVendorLokup.com and type in the MAC address.
This website will help you figure out what the things are and, if necessary, what to do next.
4. RF Hidden Camera Detector
Fing is a great way to find hidden cameras that are connected to your main network. What’s the problem? For this reason, shady Airbnb hosts may have connected their spy cameras to a second private network. RF (radio frequency) detectors can be helpful in these situations.
Wireless devices operate via radio frequencies, so RF detectors can easily locate hidden camera devices. With these hand-held devices, you can know for sure that there are no hidden cameras in the unit. They are easy to use and beep when there is a signal. Like metal detectors, RF detectors beep louder and more often as you get closer to the thing you want to find.
Even though this method costs a little more, it’s the only way to know for sure that you’ve found the person who did it. The money is well worth it for travelers who like to be careful, especially if they plan to stay at another Airbnb soon. We sell a number of RF detectors that can help people find recording devices without having to know a lot about technology.
What to Do If Hidden Airbnb Cameras Are Found
You found the camera, right? What should you do next?
All of that depends on what you want to do. If you feel like you have to, you can call the police to report what happened.
You should also let Airbnb know about this problem so that other people don’t end up in the same situation. As we already said, Airbnb’s rules say that hidden cameras and recording devices are not allowed. Telling other people about this helps them stay safe.