Hidden cameras are not just movies or fiction. Indeed, when you go on vacation in a hotel or a rental house, you can discover a bad surprise. Our privacy could be compromised without our realizing it.
In 2022, buying a small camera is very easy and cheap (they start with 4 or 5 euros). Moreover, due to their small size, they can be hidden practically anywhere. In fact, no one thinks they are the victim of such a privacy breach.
A (hidden) threat to privacy, especially during summer vacation
On the other hand, the reasons that can lead someone to spy can range from a prank by a family member to extortion by a criminal. Indeed, it was even recently announced that a person had been arrested for placing a hidden camera in a bottle of water in the toilets of an establishment in Palma de Mallorca.
There are, however, some relatively simple application tips that can help us avoid situations like this. These are tried and true tips from Kaspersky, so they will be helpful to readers.
1. Buy a small hidden camera detector
Acquire special equipment. There are electromagnetic radiation detectors, optical detectors and other equipment to detect hidden cameras at the user level. The best, as QLUUE, are available on Amazon.ES.
The cheapest can be found for around 3 euros. They can be used in the most common places for hidden cameras such as bathrooms and bedrooms, due to the sensitive images that can be obtained.
In addition, the most common hiding places are smoke detectors and household appliances, as well as paintings, clocks, vases and other decorative objects.
2. Use an Android and/or iOS app
Use an Android and/or iOS smartphone app. The mobile apps used for this purpose fall into two categories. The first group finds the camera through lens flare, as in the previous method.
An example is the Glint Finder, which helps us detect lens flare or reflection. In the second group are applications designed to search for wireless spy devices. They require a connection to a local Wi-Fi network and after scanning the router, they show all connected devices.
Additionally, there are specific tools that help distinguish harmless equipment from tracking devices. The positive point of this alternative is that it is free. However, it won’t work with older devices or on public or congested Wi-Fi networks such as those in hotels.
3. Use the smartphone we have in our pocket
Use your smartphone. Another free alternative, instead of buying specific equipment, is to use your phone’s camera and flashlight. The method is to leave the room dark, turn on the flashlight and camera, and aim where you think the hidden camera might be. If we are correct, we will see a glow on our screen where the spy camera is.
Additionally, many of these cameras use infrared lighting to record images in the dark. This way our camera will capture the infrared as a flashing dot. This method is not the most methodical or the most effective in all cases, but we managed to do at least a superficial scan.
4. In case of solid suspicions, call the professionals
Hire a professional team (in extreme cases). Finally, if you suspect that the place you are staying for a period may have hidden cameras, the safest thing to do is hire a team of experts.
There are people doing this in almost every city, and you can find them on the most popular classifieds sites. The advantages of this option are undoubtedly the efficiency and reliability of professionalism in case there are clear suspicions that there may be a camera in the accommodation.
Finally, what should we do? As Kaspersky points out, taking a picture and doing an image search is recommended, because it might not be what you think. If the suspicions are confirmed, they must go to the police.
The rules of sites like AirBnB explicitly prohibit hidden cameras, so you may be able to get your money back and be relocated elsewhere.
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