They’re watching you: How to protect yourself from hidden cameras, illegal surveillance

They’re watching you: How to protect yourself from hidden cameras, illegal surveillance

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It’s no secret we’re constantly being watched with all of today’s technology, but now more than ever, we’re hearing stories of people being caught on camera in places they would never imagine.

We’re talking about private places like bedrooms and bathrooms. It’s happening here in the Cleveland area and across the country. The cameras are hidden in everyday devices and objects like air fresheners, smoke detectors, motion detectors, alarm clocks, pins, and pens.

Some aren’t really convinced the list of objects with hidden cameras is getting longer, but it is. Security expert Paul Puro with Sievers Security says it’s pretty easy for peeping Tom’s to fool their victims.

Puro says, “Glancing at a room you would not be able to determine it’s there. You’d have to actually get up and look at a device.”

Earlier this year, a staff member at Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital found a wall charger in an employee bathroom.

It turns out there was a hidden camera in that device. Also, a Florida couple’s story shocked the nation.

While they were on a Carnival Cruise ship, they found a camera pointing toward their bed. While this camera was a little bit easier to find because of its size, Puro repeated that’s not always the case.

“I think the most difficult are the real micro-sized cameras placed up in the heating vents. They’re very difficult to see. You’d have to take the vent off to see it.”

Cleveland 19 did some digging and experimenting. We found an app called Hidden Camera Detector. It uses the camera on your phone to scan for any pinhole or hidden cameras. It also picks up the obvious surveillance cameras. For $4.99, we downloaded the app. All you do is point your phone’s camera at an area of the room to be scanned, ideally four to six feet away and press the “search” button.

It showed while the pen cam is on the red cross hairs are going crazy. They disappear when the pen is off. It was the same thing with the obvious surveillance camera. The app showed red because it recognized the pinhole camera. “I would definitely advise anybody if you’re going to be in a hotel room to take a look around,” said Puro.

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