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Does your apartment have hidden cameras? Here's how to find out

It is decided against
and the policies of other rental companies, but this does not prevent some hosts from using hidden, undisclosed cameras in their rentals.

Operators have the right to use surveillance devices to protect their property, provided that they are used in public areas and are clearly identified in their list. Unfortunately, there are occasionally hosts who do not follow the rules.

This is not intended to scare you or make you reject the idea of ​​staying in a vacation rental, but only to give you the means to protect yourself when you need it.

Read More: The things you should look for in a rental list before you book .

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How do I buy the right surveillance camera for you?


The Guidelines

Getting Things First: Airbnb and other vacation destinations require hosts to tell guests that they are using surveillance devices. They also forbid hosts to use them in private rooms, including but not limited to bathrooms, bedrooms and other sleeping areas.

A monitor is anything that can record or transmit audio, video, or still images. Technically, this even includes a webcam on a computer or a smartphone, which is kept in the rental.

For its part, Airbnb has made it easier for hosts to indicate in their listing that the units have surveillance devices. This will help you (the guest) before you book.

Read more: 9 devices that every Airbnb host should hire .

Know Before You Go

Someone hiding a camera in front of you will probably not let you know. However, if you ask the question before your arrival, your answer may be.

Try "Is there electronics in the house that I should know about?" or "Do you use cameras in any part of the house?" If they do not give you a clear answer or you feel they want to hide something, you can move on to another entry.


A Nest Cam is easy to find, but the weirdest surveillance cameras are hidden on the normal side.

Chris Monroe / CNET

How to Find Hidden Cameras

Visual Inspection

Alright, you have booked your rental contract and have arrived. Your first line of defense is to do a visual inspection. Because they are relatively large and eye-catching, you can easily spot an Amazon Cloud Cam or Nest Cam.

What is even scarier are the seemingly innocent-looking devices. It is sad, but true, that surveillance cameras look like they would somehow look like these days; Think of motion detectors, a smoke detector, baby monitors, USB charging plugs and wall clocks.

Use a Radio Frequency Detector

If you are particularly worried about hidden cameras in your rental and are willing to spend more than $ 80 for peace of mind, you will receive a Radio Frequency (RF) Detector.

You scan a room to search for devices that send wireless signals and then light up or beep to indicate that something is there. Everything Wi-Fi or uses
to send or receive data (which most security and hidden cameras do today) will trigger an RF detector. However, they are not fail-safe because they do not record cameras that record but not send.

Brickhouse Security's RF detector is among the lower priced, and compact enough to take with you on every trip. Whatever RF detector you buy, avoid the cheap ones on
. Many have complaints that they do not work at all.

What to do if you find a hidden camera

If you find a hidden camera in your vacation rental, you can perform various actions.

If you have booked your rental agreement with Airbnb, contact him immediately. Commenting on CNET, Nick Shapiro, Airbnb's Global Head of Trust & Risk Management, said: "We take reports of violations very seriously and will take action and take appropriate action in the rare event that any problem arises To make anyone uncomfortable with an offer, our worldwide customer service and trust and security teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 11 different languages ​​to get things right. "

Your next choice is to call the police as the person you hire from could break the law if their hidden camera is in a place that someone has reasonably expected
like a bathroom or a bedroom. The exact laws vary from state to state and country to country, but it pays to contact the authorities to see what kind of legal recourse you have.

Try to Enjoy Your Vacation

Look, do not drive crazy through your rental space looking for a hidden camera. Part of the risk we take when we leave our homes is to deal with surveillance in the world. Of course, you do not want to deal with hidden cameras on your vacation, but do not let that possibility ruin your journey before you leave.

Contact your host before you arrive to get a sense of how helpful and honest they are. Arm yourself with the knowledge of where cameras might hide and trust your intuition when something does not feel right.

Finally, weigh the risk against the reward when choosing a vacation rental in a hotel (which incidentally is recorded in the lobby or hallways). At the end of the day, this beautiful villa in Crete or the Parisian loft is probably worth the risk.

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CNET's Guide to Smart Living is a destination for tips, tricks, and guides that will make your life smarter.

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