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Security & Privacy

Website caught secretly live-streaming hotel guests

Security cameras are a great way to protect your property. Unfortunately, they can also violate your privacy if someone uses them against you without your permission.

Camera technology has advanced immensely in the past few years. They keep getting smaller and smaller, making it possible to conceal them any which way.

Disguised cameras can be a huge problem in the most private situations.

This just happened when a couple men were caught secretly live-streaming hotel guests.

Unsuspecting hotel guests live-streamed on website

This is a really horrible situation that no one wants to find themselves in. Around 1,600 people were filmed secretly while staying in motel rooms in South Korea.

To make matters worse, they were broadcast on a website that people paid a fee to watch. How creepy is that!?

Two men have been arrested and more are being investigated in connection with the scandal. Spy cams had been planted in 43 rooms, in 30 different hotels in 10 cities across the country. Police said at this time they don’t believe the hotel owners were involved in the scheme.

The creeps involved used hidden cameras disguised as TV boxes, hairdryers and wall sockets. The website where the videos were streamed had over 4,000 members.

This isn’t a unique situation. Disgusting events like this are happening more often nowadays, so much so that Kim covered the topic in a recent podcast.

Tap or click below to listen while you’re working around the house. Just leave the tab open and enjoy.

(PssT! You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, listen on Spotify and hear us on StitcherGoogle Play and iHeartRadio, too. Tell a friend!)

How to spot and disable spy cameras

Cameras come in all shapes and sizes. There are larger ones that look like cameras, which are easy to spot. Smaller cameras, such as the Nest Dropcam, can slip behind furnishings, decorations or vents. Then there are spy cameras that hide in everyday objects like alarm clocks, smoke detectors, stuffed animals or picture frames.

A simple way to spot most types of cameras is to look for the lens reflection. This requires turning off the lights and slowly scanning the room with a flashlight, or laser pointer, looking for bright reflections.

It works even better if you’re looking through something like an empty roll of toilet paper because it narrows your focus. Be sure to scan the room from multiple spots so you don’t miss a camera pointed only at certain places.

You should also do a close visual inspection of the vents, as well as any holes or gaps in the walls or ceilings. Fortunately, for a camera to see you, you have to be able to see it as well, so it can’t be entirely hidden.

In addition to lens detection, you can also get an RF detector. This can pick up wireless cameras within 10 feet or so. Some of the expensive ones have screens to show you what the camera is seeing. Unfortunately, RF detectors aren’t great for wired or record-only cameras. For those, you’ll need to stick with the lens reflection method.

If you can connect to the rental’s wireless network, a free program like Wireless Network Watcher shows which gadgets are connected. You might be able to spot connected cameras. Just be aware that the owner might have put the cameras on a second network, or they could be wired or record-only types.

If the rental property is controlled by a home automation system, it’s fairly easy to find cameras. Open the system controller menu and look for anything mentioning cameras. Accordingly, scan the TV channels for anything suspicious.

If you do spot a camera that wasn’t disclosed to you by the owner, you have a few options. The best one is to vacate the property and contact the police. You should also report it to whichever service you used to get in touch with the owner.

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