The silent watcher sits and lurks in the corner. You might not even notice it there or who is behind it. But detecting a hidden camera can conserve your privacy.
The thought of being watched daily can send chills down your spine. But it can be the reality of many people, who don't even know it.
It is something that has recently spread worldwide and is being sold on websites, stores, etc. From a funny prank to lurking in someone's house, they are now everywhere.
Whether in your own home, or a hotel, there could be hidden cameras around without your consent or knowledge about it at all!
With multiple ways to disguise, these hidden cameras have ended up on the news due to companies using them in private places to record people.
However, there are ways of detecting a hidden camera, and tips to ensure your privacy even in public places.
Detecting a hidden camera
There are many ways to ensure you aren't being watched. And the first step to detecting a hidden camera is to know what you are looking for.
What a hidden camera looks like
In the fast-growing world of technology, we have available to us today, a hidden camera can now be disguised as regular ordinary objects.
With various shapes and sizing, they can be hard to spot. From a small camera in a pinhole or keys, or things we walk by every day.
You might be walking past one every day and not know it! 😲 They include but are not limited to:
- USB/flash drive
- AC adapter
- Smoke detector
- Clothing hook
- Air freshener device
- Water bottle
- Fitness trackers
- Wall clocks
- Power banks
Where to look
The possibilities of places are almost endless. However, there are some places you should look for them as they are more likely to be there.
Scanning a room is the first step to detecting a hidden camera. Look at:
- Wall outlets
- Smoke detectors
- Water bottles
- Clothing hooks
- Alarm clocks
- Desk plants
- Wall decor
- Lava lamps
- Stuffed animals
These are just a few of the places that hidden cameras can be places and you should scan rooms, especially outside your house, for them.
You might want to stay quiet and listen out for buzzing noises that could be a small little camera at work.
Look out for strange wires, lights, or cables. Many hidden cameras such as the pen are made to be rechargeable.
Meaning the battery will eventually die, however, cameras in your smoke detector, for example, might need to stay plugged in.
If the device also records audio, it will most likely be placed under a table or desk, holes on doors, plants, and other strategic locations.
Finding hidden cameras
Now you know where they could be, or how they look like. But let's go further into this investigation and learn how to track them down.
Cameras, whether wireless or not, should emit a small led light in most cases. Something like the red light you see when you click on your TV remote.
Turning off the lights and closing all the curtains can help you track down places in which there are hidden cameras.
The LED lights are usually green or red and could start blinking once low on battery, therefore, easier to find.
Use your phone
Your smartphone can be used in detecting a hidden camera in various ways. And could help you find out what is making such an annoying buzzing sound.
The first use is to help you check in the dark. Looking around with your phone's camera in the dark could help you track down LED lights faster.
You can also use your phone to call a friend and walk around the room. As you get closer to a hidden camera the call should get interfered.
This is because cameras usually emit a special frequency that can meddle in the phone's ability to transmit a call.
Therefore, your call could be interfered do to a camera and where it is placed. This can then help you locate it as you move around the room.
Lastly, you can download apps on your phone to track down these cameras. These apps can be found in your App Store for download.
Most of these apps track down radio frequencies around the room and will go off once tracked. It might also go off if it detects any device with a radio frequency.
So it might just go off near another phone or device. Having your devices turned off can certainly help as the app won't go off constantly.
Your phone can be a great help at detecting a hidden camera. However, there are devices that were made to detect these cameras.
If you travel a lot, this can certainly be for you! Though a phone can certainly help, it was not specifically made to track down hidden cameras.
Therefore when traveling having a professional detector can not only help you find these cameras but save you the hassle of searching for them in every room.
These devices are called "RF signal detectors" and are effective at tracking down hidden bugs and cameras quickly.
They can be bought online or in some stores and can range from rather inexpensive to very professional types that can be a bit more expensive.
Once ready to use you simply turn it on, and walk around. The device will then detect signals and give you indications.
These indications are usually audible and will be heard as you approach a hidden camera. And there are many in the market today.
Additionally, they are very portable and easy to use. However, you must be careful once you find a hidden camera.
What to do once you find a hidden camera
To begin with, do not touch it or move it. Take pictures of the camera and location. You will then want to call the cops.
Contacting the authorities is the best option as they will attempt to track who is behind the spying.
This is very serious as it is a form of illegal activity and a federal crime. Though having cameras in a public open space is allowed, other places aren't.
Any type of recording in some areas is deemed as illegal as it invades an individual's privacy. These areas include but are not limited to:
- Your home
- Dressing rooms
- Locker rooms
- Any other location that compromises your personal privacy
Laws also apply to audio, whether it is spying or recording. And can include:
- Audio recording
- And any other form of illegal recording that can jeopardize your privacy
Combating fire with fire
When staying at a hotel, it could be in your best interest to bring along a camera with you.
Portable cameras can connect to your phone and record live footage of your room. Therefore allowing you to see who came in, and if the maids took your belongings.
It can also give you some peace of mind since you will have proof of any happenings that can go on when you are not in your room.
You can have a camera with night vision, and other features that alert you when a person is detected and shows the image on your phone.
Use cameras that can quickly be set up for optimum time-saving. This could then be used as evidence if anyone is looking at your room.
If someone is spying on you and wants to raid your room, they will wait until you leave. But with a camera in place, you will have evidence of said culprit.
The bottom line
While cameras can be used for the greater good, and monitoring safety and other situations, it is not always like that.
The usage of the camera can be due to the person behind it. And cameras can be used to record illegal audio and video.
Therefore we must be careful and cautious of our surroundings and who could be watching us at any moment.
But now you are aware of the tricks to detecting a hidden camera, and the tools that are available to you.
Use these tips and tricks to the best of your ability to conserve your privacy and keep you feeling safe in your home and travels!
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 16+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.