If it feels like it’s becoming increasingly common to wake up in the morning and read about yet another case of hidden camera spying in the local newspaper, you’re not imagining things. This is a very real issue, and it’s absolutely getting worse over time.

Illegal filming and upskirt photography are certainly nothing new, but as technology continues to advance, it’s also quickly becoming an issue that will likely affect us all sooner rather than later.

Hidden Camera

The Case of Illicit Photography: Breaking Things Down

If you want proof that upskirt and other types of illicit photography have become a significant issue all over the world, one needs to look no further than the internet itself.

Websites that not only make this type of footage readily available but also monetize it for their visitors are everywhere. One in particular even claims to have over 30 million unique active users per day. Many of the clips feature women in various stages of undress in public places like bathrooms, changing rooms and more. Based on the quality of this footage, it’s easy to guess where it came from: A lot of it was probably obtained using the types of smartphones and other mobile devices that just about every person has these days.

On one particular site reported on by Channel NewsAsia, there were over 70 videos showing women from Singapore in particular. While it’s certainly true that the problem is more severe in some parts of the world versus others (with Singapore definitely at the top of that list), it’s something that can affect anyone and everyone — regardless of where you’re from or where you happen to be located.

Equally complicating things is the fact that spy cameras have become equally cheap and powerful over the last few years. A full-quality, high-definition hidden cam can be purchased for less than a few hundred dollars in most cases — and a lot of countries place absolutely no restrictions on buying them. You can even get spy cameras shaped like normal, everyday objects such as pens, sunglasses, smoke detectors and more on Amazon.com, shipped right to your door in a matter of days.

That same Channel NewsAsia report spoke to the CEO of OMG Solutions, a company that sells more than 200 different types of spy cameras in their online store. He reported that he’s seen a 10 percent increase in sales year-over-year, and you’d better believe that not all of those buyers have good intentions in mind.

These are the facts of the situation as they exist today. You can be certain that this is a problem that is only going to get worse as time goes on. Based on that, one can’t rely on laws to protect them from illicit photography — people everywhere need to take the proper steps to protect themselves.

If you ever walk into a room and think you’re being watched, never assume that you’re just being paranoid. Always take a look around the room and scan for areas where cameras are likely to be. Look inside areas of a bathroom like shower stalls or soap dispensers. Pick up objects like USB wall chargers and examine them carefully — you never know what you might find staring back at you. Pay attention for things that look like they’re slightly out of place, like clothing hooks. If you find anything that you think might be a hidden camera, don’t be afraid to put a piece of black tape over it for your protection.

It’s an unfortunate situation that we’re now living out every day as far as our privacy is concerned, but it’s also not one we have to take lying down. By being aware of the problem as it exists and learning as much about what hidden cameras now look like as possible, you might not be able to stop yourself from becoming the target of someone with malicious intentions — but you can do everything in your power to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.