The 4 Most Effective Ways Leaders Solve Problems
March 2, 2021
June 27, 2022
A hidden camera must be connected to a local Wi-Fi network in order to be viewed remotely, Bombace said.
Wi-Fi scanning apps like Fing can identify devices on the network that are cameras, he said.
Those who hide cameras might use a separate Wi-Fi network to stream live video footage, but Wi-Fi scanning apps can also detect how many networks are in a residence, Bombace said.
But Kody Kinzie, a security researcher at data security and analytics firm Varonis, warned that a network scanner may not catch everything.
“The next thing you can do is look for devices that are broadcasting their own network name,” he said.
He recommended using apps like WiGLE to find devices that are “broadcasting some sort of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network name,” Kinzie added.
3. Buy a spy camera detector
If all else fails, spy camera detectors can scan for radio frequencies connected to hidden cameras. These can be easily bought online from websites like Amazon or AliExpress.
But O’Rourke noted this method works only if the hidden camera is transmitting data.
“So many of them now have SD cards that just store data to be retrieved after someone leaves,” O’Rourke said. “And so these are much more difficult to detect.”
Bombace added that while it is possible to buy a radio frequency scanner, the cheaper ones are probably not that good.
“Like anything else, you get what you pay for — if it’s $30, it’s probably not that good,” Bombace said. “Better ones are going to cost hundreds or even over $1,000.”
What to do if you find a camera
After locating a camera, immediately disconnect it without damaging it because the camera’s firmware may contain identifying information, such as login credentials and the Wi-Fi network it was connected to, Kinzie said.
O’Rourke said hidden cameras found in hotel rooms should be reported to the front desk. He advised then moving to another hotel instead of requesting another room.
“Once you find a camera in a room, I wouldn’t trust any other room in that entire hotel,” he said.
Bombace also recommended reporting hidden cameras to the police, even if it is just for documentation purposes, in case litigation or criminal charges should follow.
“You could also provide [the report] to Airbnb so they can prevent this person from ever doing this again,” he said.
But ultimately, Bombace said, he would not avoid renting a home over fears of spy cameras.
“I would just take common sense steps to protect yourself. And realize you’re not in your own home,” he said.
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