Traveling is a privilege that lets us broaden our horizons and have fun–until it doesn’t. If you’ve ever stayed in a less-than-stellar Airbnb, you know exactly the kind of anxiety it can cause.
Below, sort the fact from the fiction on dodgy Airbnbs, and learn the 3 essential ways to uncover hidden surveillance in an Airbnb property.
Are Airbnbs Safe?
The safety of an Airbnb is much the same as that of any apartment or rental property because, unlike a hotel, there are no staff on-hand at every moment.
When choosing an Airbnb property to rent, consider the following to stay safe:
– Only choose properties with 4 or 5 star ratings and at least 30 reviews, prioritizing rentals with more than 50 reviews.
– Search for properties where the Host speaks the same language as you to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings, particularly about the presence of surveillance on the property.
– Where possible, prioritize properties that are in well-populated areas as opposed to remote ones.
3 Essential Ways to Detect Hidden Cameras in Airbnb
1. Check alarm systems, bathrooms, mirrors, and electronic devices
If suspicious while staying in an Airbnb rental, emphasize checking alarm systems, bathrooms, mirrors, and electronic devices like chargers. Visual, touch, and infrared checks (using your phone) are advisable.
2. Use a wireless network checker
To be of any use to the host, a hidden camera would likely need to be connected to the internet to livestream, so it’s also worth using a wireless network checker to scan for devices connecting to the Wi-Fi.
Much like hidden camera checkers, wireless network checkers can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play store and used on a phone.
3. Check if it’s being wiretapped
There’s also the possibility of the property being wiretapped, which is easier to conceal. Much like hidden cameras, this won’t ‘look’ like a conventional microphone, but a very small and unsophisticated object with visible wires.
Wiretapping hotspots are much the same as hidden cameras: alarms, smoke detectors, and electronic devices.
Stay Safe in an Airbnb with AlfredCamera
Hidden cameras in Airbnbs aren’t the only thing that can contribute to a feeling of unease.
Sometimes, even just leaving belongings when going out for the day can make a person feel anxious, particularly if the Airbnb Host is suspicious, the accommodation itself is different to how it appeared in pictures, or the area itself is dangerous.
Users have long been making use of Alfred for easy security on-the-go. One user recently shared a particularly surprising story.
‘Was staying at an AIRBNB and was a little skeptical about people we were renting from. I set up camera to monitor the room while I was out,’ they said.
‘While out, the alarm sounded on my phone letting me know there was movement in the room. I watched live footage of what was taking place and it was my girlfriend. I watched her for a few minutes when all of the sudden she took a couple steps backwards and dropped to the floor.’
As soon as they got the notification, they rushed back to the rental property.
‘I was able to perform mouth to mouth and CPR on her till paramedics arrived.’
What To Do If You Find Cameras in Airbnb
If a hidden camera is uncovered while staying at an Airbnb property, do not tamper with the device, and refrain from touching it. Here’s what to do:
- Quickly take photographs and/or videos of the device as evidence of its existence. This could be contested if the Host removes the device before the Guest is able to report it.
- Notify Airbnb via the Urgent Support Line in the app, which should connect users to someone from the Community Support Safety Team as quickly as possible.
- Cover the device to prevent it from recording and contact the local police. Hidden cameras are a serious offense and can be deeply distressing to Guests, so never undermine the crime. If the property is particularly remote, consider covering the device with a towel to prevent more recording from taking place before the police arrive.
Being overly cautious in Airbnb and hotel rooms alike can quickly derail all sense of logic. While that is, of course, understandable, follow the 3 simple steps discussed in the article to make sense of any suspicions.
In the meantime, let an Alfred-enabled device keep an eye on any belongings left in unfamiliar places, so that you can better enjoy your time away from home.