As creepy and illegal as it sounds, there is a possibility that the next time you book a short-term vacation rental, the owner will have cameras set up.
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Sometimes they’re for security purposes outside, although some creeps do use hidden cameras.
Are cameras in a vacation rental legal?
Vacation rental companies like Airbnb and Vrbo do have rules in place when it comes to a host having cameras.
A host is allowed to have cameras in their rental space as long as they are in public areas like the front or backyard.
However, cameras are strictly forbidden in private areas of the space, such as a bedroom or bathroom. And if a host has cameras in their rental space, they must clearly state it in the guidelines so that a potential renter will be aware before booking.
Hidden Camera (Cyberguy.com)
What steps should I take before booking my rental?
The first thing you should do is read the fine print of every rental you are considering booking. Most rentals will have plenty of information listed, such as amenities the rental offers and the house rules. If a host has cameras, they should clearly state it in the guidelines.
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If you do not see anything in the guidelines about cameras, you can also reach out to the host directly and ask them if you can expect any video or audio recording devices while staying at their property before you book it.
If they are not straightforward with their answer or you feel any sort of aggression from them, feel free to move on to another rental.
What do I do once I book my rental?
Once you have a rental booked and you go to the property, you can always check in all of the usual and unusual places to make sure there aren’t any hidden recording devices that you can see.
Be sure to check in private rooms like the bedroom and bathroom. And look closely at devices like a fire detector that might be placed facing a bed.
Person holds a small camera (Cyberguy.com)
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Be a detective when you check-in
If you want to be sure there aren’t any devices you don’t know about, you can invest in a radio frequency (RF) detector. Some of the better-quality ones are a little more expensive.
However, you want to make sure you'll get one that will give you accurate results. Here's one we found on Amazon, called the Advanced GQ EMF-390, which at the time of publishing, cost $119.90 and had over 2,200 global reviews with 73% giving it 5 stars.
RF Detector (Cyberguy.com)
Click here for more of my spyware detection equipment picks
Stay private while on vacation
My last tip is to use a VPN. I recommend using one on all your devices and especially while traveling and staying in a short-term vacation rental so that your information is encrypted and secure even if the WiFi network you’re on isn’t.
For best VPN software, see my expert review of the best VPNs for browsing the web privately on your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices by searching ‘Best VPN’ at CyberGuy.com by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the top of my website.
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Have you experienced issues with hidden cameras in your vacation rentals? Let us know your experience.
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Kurt "CyberGuy" Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life better with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business beginning mornings on "FOX & Friends." Got a tech question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.