Unfortunately, travelers may now have to come to terms with a bleak new reality. As more and more hotels and Airbnb rentals are found to contain hidden cameras, social media users are urging travelers to be safe and check their rooms before getting too comfortable. Now, one ex-hacker from Britain has turned to TikTok to explain all the places people can hide hidden cameras so they can spy on the guests in their rooms.
Marcus Hutchins, a cybersecurity educator, recently began posted videos on TikTok via his account, @malwaretech. In his videos, Hutchings offers advice for people who are not as tech-savvy as the hackers and creeps installing equipment to spy on their victims. Hutchins advised all travelers to use a flashlight to check out the nooks and crannies of the rental before relaxing to make sure it is not hidden with cameras and other recording devices.
Fortunately, Hutchins gave viewers the locations of common places a “creeper” might want to install a hidden camera to spy on unsuspecting people. By following the cybersecurity expert’s advice, you can set yourself up for a safer trip and won’t have to worry about someone spying on your every move.
“Take this fire alarm, for instance. It is placed right above the bed,’ he explained while guiding his own camera to the ceiling. Now one way to see if the device is a camera is to shine a bright light at it. If you hit a camera lens, it’s going to get a blueish reflection. Now you can test this by shining a light at your phone and seeing how the camera looks when placed under a flashlight.”
The TikTok video then shows a close-up on a digital alarm clock, the type typically found in hotel rooms. The video clearly shows that there is a hidden camera behind the clock’s glass, which could have been used to spy on people in the room if it wasn’t for videos like this exposing the nasty trick.
Hutchins explains that finding hidden cameras becomes easier if you use a bright light. According to him, you can identify the location of a camera within a mirrored surface.
“This technique can also work on two-way mirrors,” he added.
USB chargers can also be equipped with small cameras. These pinhole cameras are easy for people to conceal but can be exposed by shining a bright light on them.
“These cameras are really small as you can see here, so they can be hidden in anything, even a hole in the wall,” he said. “You’re going to want to check any suspicious devices or holes that are facing the shower, dressing area, or the bed.”
In the comments of the video, Hutchins clarified one thing – the whole thing was a set-up to illustrate a point.
“Disclaimer: this isn’t a real Airbnb. It’s a stage set-up to demonstrate how to find cameras,” he wrote.
Thousands of other people commented.
“New fear unlocked,” wrote one user.
“Another reason never to leave my house, hahaha,” wrote another.