How to Use Your Phone to Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras

Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras

A family recently discovered an unwelcome discovery at their Airbnb: a concealed camera in the living room disguised as a smoke detector. Using simply an iPhone or Android phone, here are two ways to check for cameras in an Airbnb or elsewhere.

Hidden Cameras Can Be a Serious Threat

Hidden cameras can be an issue whether you’re staying in a hotel or an Airbnb. In the case of Airbnb, your host must mention any cameras they have, whether they’re turned on or not. Additionally, even if it’s a living room with a foldout bed, Airbnb does not allow hosts to install cameras in bathrooms or sleeping spaces.

However, as one family discovered, a scary host can still hide a camera and not inform you. Hidden cameras at Airbnbs are nothing new. The issue isn’t just confined to Airbnb. The tragic story of concealed cameras live-streaming in South Korean hotels was recently reported in the news. Over 1500 hotel guests were videotaped and broadcast live on the internet.

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Hidden cameras appear to be becoming more common as they grow more affordable. Manufacturers create cameras that are disguised as smoke detectors, clocks, USB hubs, and even wireless charges.

These can be used for legitimate reasons in your own house, such as hiding a camera that a robber won’t notice or monitoring a nanny with the nanny’s permission. But how do you know whether you’re being watched by a covert camera? When you check in, you may run a scan for hidden cameras using a single app and your phone’s camera.

There are two ways to use your phone to look for cameras. To begin, scan the Wi-Fi network for devices that appear to be cameras if you have access. However, this will only return results for cameras that are linked to the network. Second, you can use the camera on your phone to look for night vision cameras.

Both methods will miss a hidden camera that isn’t connected to the network and doesn’t have night-vision capabilities, but they should catch most cameras.

What Is the Most Effective Way to Find Networked Cameras?

You can connect to the local network in many areas where you stay. With an app called Fing, you can take advantage of this. Fing creates apps for both iPhone and Android. Even better, it’s completely free and ad-free. For more functionality, Fing will ask you to sign in, but you won’t need to do so for device and port scanning.

The goal is to examine all of the devices that are linked to the local network. To reduce the amount of data to filter through, we recommend disconnecting all of your devices save the phone or tablet running Fing. Connect your phone or tablet to the internet before launching Fing.

To get started on Android, touch the “Refresh” icon in the top-right corner of the app’s screen and agree to provide the app location permissions. This step is completed automatically by the iPhone app.

Read More: 5 Security Checks You Should Perform on Your Android Phone

Wait for the programme to complete its scan before browsing the list of discovered devices. Keep an eye out for anything that shows a camera brand (like Nest, Arlo, or Wyze) or lists as “IP Camera” when you’re looking at devices on the network the app found.

Even if you don’t notice a camera on this list, consider how many devices are listed and what you can find in the area where you’re staying. Write down the IP address if something sticks out as unique (possibly with no recognized details) and you can’t find a suitable source. Scanning for open ports is the next stage. If you discover any strange devices on the network, look for any open ports they may be using. To begin, go to the bottom of the screen and tap the “Network” button.