Hotels and Airbnbs have their own catalogue of horror stories.
From accommodation being cancelled upon arrival to owners inviting themselves around for a spontaneous snack – all the way to creepy (and possibly illegal) incidents where cameras have been found disguised in household objects.
A former hacker turned to TikTok to teach his 117K followers users about cybersecurity. In one of Marcus Hutchins’ (@malwaretech) most-watched clips, he shows fellow TikTokers how to detect if there are any hidden cameras in their vacation accommodation.
Marcus explains: “The first thing you are going to want to look for is devices that are conveniently placed where a creeper would want to look.
“Take this fire alarm, for instance. It is placed right above the bed.
“One way to see if the device is a camera is to shine a bright light at it.
“If you hit a camera lens, it’s going to get a blue-ish reflection.
“Now you can test this by shining a light at your phone and seeing how the camera looks when placed under a flashlight.”
He then demonstrates how people can check small, seemingly innocent items for cameras such as alarm clocks and USB chargers.
“This alarm clock is mirrored,” he said, ‘but if we shine a bright light at it, we can see through the glass and see there is a camera there.
“This technique can also work on two-way mirrors.”
“These cameras are really small as you can see here, so they can be hidden in anything, even a hole in the wall,” he added.
The video, which racked up 5.5 million views, was inundated with concerned comments. “New fear unlocked,” one said, while another joked, “Another reason to never leave my house, haha.”
A third was curious as to why people hidden cameras around the accommodation: “Can someone explain to me what the purpose is? Do they just want to watch the tenants living their lives? Sleeping? Eating? Changing? What’s the point!”