Protect your privacy while traveling.
When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to think about is someone spying on you. But in a 2019 survey by real estate company IPX1031, 11 percent of respondents reported finding a hidden camera in their Airbnb.
“One of the reasons this is happening is because of the ready availability of low-cost camera technology,” says Jack Plaxe, security consultant at Guidepost Solutions. Cameras with pinhole lenses that can be easily concealed are available through Amazon and other shopping sites for less than $100.
And today’s spy cameras are so small that if they’re properly concealed, there is no telltale sign, says Mike O’Rourke, CEO of Advanced Operational Concepts. Many come already installed in clock radios, smoke detectors, lamps, and other portable devices.
While the untrained eye might not be familiar with how to find hidden cameras, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.
Luckily, your smartphone can detect cameras that your eyes can’t see. There are two ways to find hidden cameras using your mobile phone, Koblitz says. The first uses your smartphone’s camera to spot infrared light coming from a camera that is recording in the dark.
- Open your smartphone’s camera, and flip the lens to selfie mode.
- Make the room as dark as possible by turning off the lights and closing the curtains.
- Scan the room slowly with your phone’s camera lens, looking for any glowing lights that are purple or white.
You can also install a network scanner app like Fing, which lists devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi network and their IP addresses.
- Connect your phone to the Wi-Fi network and open Fing.
- Android users: Tap Refresh to start scanning. iPhone users: The app will automatically begin scanning.
- Once the app finishes scanning, search the list for devices with camera manufacturers like Nest, Arlo, or Wyze, or IP addresses listed as “IP Camera.”
Photo credit: ©rd.com, Getty Images
Article by Jen McCaffery, Brooke Nelson for Reader’s Digest©