You would think that the spy cameras you see in the movies were nothing but fiction, or at least relegated to use purely by the security services. Actually, you can pick up high-resolution spy cameras for less than $50, which have such a small lens that they can be concealed pretty much anywhere!
For example, you can actually get a spy camera hidden in a pair of earphones. That just goes to show how tiny cameras can be! So now that you’re feeling nice and paranoid, here are 7 different tricks to help you find covertly hidden cameras.
1) Use a wireless bug detector
Bug detectors will ‘sniff’ for strong radio signals. With a bug detector, you wave the handset around a room, and it will light up or buzz when a radio signal is detected. When you get a signal, you then manually examine the suspect area. However, a bug detector is not able to detect hard-wired cameras, as there is no signal to detect.
2) Use a camera lens detector
A spy camera lens detector is a very clever device that uses optics to identify camera lens. It uses flashing red LEDs and a little filtered lens that you look through. You look around a room looking through the lens, and you will see that any camera lens will sparkle. The lens detector is far more effective at finding spy cameras, simply because it will detect wireless or hard-wired cameras.
3) Listen for interference
Wireless spy cameras transmit using standard FM radio waves. So you may notice interference on any speakers, telephones, or perhaps you might even notice a degradation in WiFi network speeds.
4) Use your fingers
Humans have an acute sense of touch, which is very effective for feeling out imperfections in a surface. If you suspect something, then run your fingers over the surface. Check out any dips or bumps that feel alien.
5) Dust is your friend
Dust can be a fantastic indicator that something has been tampered with. So look for disturbances in the dust on surfaces to see if objects have been moved. Clearly, if your surfaces are being dusted regularly, this is not quite so useful. But even the presence of dust is useful. For example, if ceiling panels are moved, then you will get dust on the floor. If a wall is drilled, you’ll probably have dust on the floor or skirting board.
6) If it looks odd, check it out
There are many off-the-shelf spy cameras, such as this camera inside a clock. Therefore if you notice a brand new clock in the home or office, then take a closer look. Nearly all spy cameras will have their tell-tale lens behind a dot about 1mm to 2.5mm in diameter. The lens is invariably shiny and rounded, so shining a small flashlight near a suspect hole will show a reflection if there is a lens hidden behind it.
7) Who’s acting weird?
Cameras need to be installed by someone. So if there is someone new around your home or office, or someone is acting strangely, then bear in mind they might be up to something.
Now that you are feeling paranoid, here’s a little reassurance. It is unlikely you are under surveillance. Before you tear your home or office apart, decide if there is any reason why someone would want to watch you. Happy hunting!
This is a guest article by Dan Harrison who has been studying, designing and collecting spy gadgets for over 15 years. Dan has a particular interest in hidden spy cameras, particularly covert spy cameras in everyday objects.