Technology continues to advance and devices are getting smaller and smaller. Hidden cameras are no different. It is getting more and more hard to believe how small cameras can actually be. They now come hidden in pens, buttons on clothing, smartphone charging blocks, smoke detectors, and practically any other device you can imagine.
Whether you’re a private investigator, security professional, or simply someone trying to determine if you are being watched—this post will help you know where to begin. We will explore the top five ways of how to find hidden cameras and how to develop your counter-surveillance skills.
1. Use a professional bug and camera detector
One of the easiest and most effective ways to detect hidden cameras is to use a professional bug detector, RF scanner, or hidden camera detector. These devices, such as the 1207i Multi-Frequency RF Bug Detector (which is designed for law enforcement), can detect the radio frequencies given off by hidden cameras and bugs. There are a wide variety of options available on the market today at drastically different price points. Some consumer-grade options come in at under $100. Professional grade equipment for counter surveillance can run into the multiple thousands of dollars for the very best spy camera detectors on the market.
2. Be aware of the types of hidden cameras on the market today
Knowledge is power. One of the best ways to detect hidden cameras is to be aware of what you’re looking for. If someone is using a hidden camera to watch you, chances are they purchased the camera online from a common source, such as Amazon or another hidden camera distributor.
Your first step in this process is to take some time to go online and search for all of the various types of hidden cameras available on the market today. This knowledge will translate into real-world awareness of your physical surroundings. Once you see a hidden camera in a smoke detector on Amazon, you will find yourself looking at every smoke detector you come across in your daily life.
3. Do a physical sweep of your surroundings
When it comes to how to check for hidden cameras, nothing replaces the value of a physical sweep of your surroundings. The best way to conduct a physical sweep is to systematically evaluate a room and then carefully inspect each location that could possibly hide a camera.
As you evaluate your surroundings, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where would I hide a camera?
- Which type of hidden camera would I use?
- How would I hide it?
To help you in your search, here’s a list of the most common places to look for hidden cameras:
- DVD cases
- Smoke detectors
- Air filters
- Wall decor
- Desk plants
- Couch cushions and stuffed animals
- Tissue boxes
- Any holes in doors, walls, or furniture
- Mirrors and pictures
- Electrical outlets
4. Turn off the lights and use a flashlight
A tried-and-true method for detecting spy cameras is to use a flashlight.
- Turn off all of the lights in the room
- Shine your flashlight across the room and onto every object and surface
- Look for odd reflections
Cameras often have reflective surfaces on the lenses, which will only become apparent when light hits them. This method can be a great extra step to incorporate into your physical scan of a room.
5. Use a mobile app to detect hidden cameras
Sometimes hidden cameras use WiFi or Bluetooth to transmit data. When it comes to how to scan WiFi for hidden cameras, there are a number of hidden camera detector apps available on iOS and Android devices. These apps use a variety of methods for detecting hidden cameras on your network, but remember that these apps cannot detect every type of hidden camera. However, these apps can still be useful as part of your overall search for hidden cameras.
When it comes to how to find hidden cameras, your skills and situational awareness will develop over time. Once you know what to look for and how spy cameras are hidden, you will find yourself at a massive advantage in preventing surveillance of you and others. NITA also offers a wide selection of online courses for private investigators that can help you develop your surveillance and counter-surveillance skills. We offer courses for security professionals, private investigators, and interested individuals who are simply looking to develop their skills. We invite you to explore our full course offerings.