What are the ways to detect hidden spy secret cameras in your apartment, house, or hotel room? How to find hidden security cameras behind mirrors?
In this article we’ve summed a few effective ways to help you spot hidden surveillance cameras and listening devices planted in both outdoor and indoor areas, including your hotel room, in the bathroom, at your home, and wherever you are.
How to detect hidden spy surveillance cameras
The steps shown below will enable you to find hidden spy surveillance cameras within minutes. Most of the ways are totally free and doable by an average person. Sometimes just a simple trick can make the difference when trying to locate any bugs/hidden cameras.
The main points:
#1. Scan the environment carefully
#2. Turn off the lights in the room
#3. Use your iPhone or Android mobile phones
#4. Use a professional detector or sensor
#5. Check the mirrors at your place
#6. Use the flashlight to find hidden cameras
Scan the environment carefully to detect suspicious hidden video cameras
One of the easiest ways to detect hidden cameras is checking around the environment carefully. An inch-by-inch search would be helpful to spot “obvious” hidden cameras at the first step.
When you do this, you need to think of yourself as the perpetrator: Where would I possibly hide a camera? Ask this question to yourself while you scan/search your place carefully.
This a list of the most common places to locate indoor hidden cameras:
- Smoke detectors
- Air filter equipment
- Wall décor
- Electrical outlets
- Desk plants
- Tissue boxes
- Stuffed teddy bears (or other animals)
- Couch cushions, tabletops, and shelves
- DVD cases
- Lava lamps
- Digital TV boxes
- Wall sockets
- Hairdryer holders
- Wall or alarm clocks
- Clothes hooks
This a list of the most common places to locate outdoor hidden cameras and microphones:
- House plants
- Holes on the doors
- The roof of the house
- The doorbell outside your home
Some objects may reveal suspicious wires, lights, or lenses that are hallmarks of hidden spy cameras. If you find some unusual power outlets or adapters, unplug them immediately.
Listen as you walk through the entire room. Some hidden motion-sensing surveillance cameras would make an almost inaudible buzz when in operation.
Turn off the lights in your room to spot hidden night vision cameras
You can use the night vision security camera working principle to find hidden cameras in your room. Most hidden security cameras have red or green LEDs. The LEDs will blink or shine when in low-light conditions.
When in low-light conditions, the LEDs around the camera lens will turn on automatically to supplement the lighting for the cameras to produce clear night vision images. This provides an opportunity to detect any hidden cameras that support such features.
You can follow the below steps to find hidden IP cameras when in dark conditions:
- Draw the curtains in your room, and turn off the lights.
- Check whether there are blinking red or green LEDs in your room.
No matter what hidden cameras you want to detect, wired or wireless types, you can use this way to detect surveillance CCTV cameras in your car, in stores, in the living room, bedroom, at your home, etc.
Use your smartphone to locate hidden surveillance cameras
Many people ask whether they can use their smartphone to find hidden cameras, and the answer is “Yes”. There are two easy and free ways you can undertake to find hidden cameras using your iPhone or Android smartphones even without detectors.
Method 1. Make a phone call to check for hidden cameras and microphones
- Make a phone call to your friends or family.
- Walk around your room. Hidden surveillance normally would give off a special radio frequency that would interfere with your phone call signal.
If you notice that there is signal interference in a specific place or position, stop and check out that place carefully to find out whether there is a hidden security camera there.
Method 2. Use mobile apps to find hidden cameras and listening devices
Step 1. Install a “detect hidden cameras” app on your iPhone or Android mobile phones. For example, “Spy hidden camera detector” app software is a good option.
Step 2. Launch the app on your mobile phone. The detector software will display a red glow when your smartphone approaches a hidden camera. Please note that it will also glow when near other types of hardware with radiofrequency.
Helpful tip: When you are traveling and stay in a hotel room, you can take a portable battery security camera with you. You can put it in your hotel room to see who entered your room without your permission. With a security camera installed in your hotel room, you can also keep an eye on your stuff.
Get a professional camera detector or sensor to spot hidden security cameras
Professional RF signal detectors or other bug detectors are quite effective to locate hidden security cameras. A lot of news has been reported that people keep finding hidden cameras in their rental Airbnb homes. If you go on business or a vacation and rent an Airbnb house, you can find the hidden cameras with the detector quickly.
How to detect hidden cameras using a detector
- Buy a professional detector on Amazon or other online shops. The price varies greatly, ranging from several bucks to hundreds of dollars. A few options can be found here.
- Turn on the device and do a sweep of your room to detect hidden pinhole video cameras.
Typically the detectors will beep when they detect a signal, giving you an audible indication when you near a potential camera. Please note that the RF hidden camera detector typically only picks up one kind of frequency.
If the hidden security cameras and other bugs use multiple frequencies changing rapidly, the detector might not detect the presence of hidden spy cameras.
The good news is that bad guys would not install hidden cameras with complex frequent network signals, since this type of hidden spy camera is much more expensive.
Check the mirrors in your room to locate any hidden spy cameras
Don’t forget to check for hidden cameras in the mirrors in the toilet, changing or trial rooms, etc. As you may know, some awful guys tend to install a hidden spy camera on the other side of a mirror that is see-through, while the other side looks the same as a normal mirror.
There’s a useful tip you can use to detect such two-way mirrors in fitting rooms, toilets, bathrooms, etc.
- Put your fingernail on the mirror.
- Observe the gap between your finger and the mirror. If there’s a gap between your finger and the image, it’s a real mirror. If your finger and the image touch tip to tip, there would be a hidden spy camera in the mirror.
Use a flashlight to find hidden cameras
A straightforward way to detect hidden cameras is using the flashlight (works best in dark conditions).
- Turn on the flashlight and turn off the lights in your room.
- Pan the flashlight around the room.
Go slowly and examine any suspicious positions from different angles. If you notice any reflective lights from an object, there might be a hidden camera there.
What to do if you detect hidden spy surveillance cameras at your place
If you find hidden spy cameras in your room, you should follow the below procedure.
- Don’t move or touch the hidden cameras. (The police would collect the fingerprints to locate the criminal.)
- Take all of your belongings out of the viewing angle of the camera.
- Take pictures of the camera as evidence.
- Call the police or other authorities to investigate the case.
General questions regarding hidden spy cameras and microphones
We are always trying to answer as many questions as you may have on how to detect hidden cameras. If you have other questions or any insights, leave them in the comments below! We will feature your ideas in this post.
What do hidden cameras look like?
Hidden cameras come in different sizes and shapes, and they can look like almost everything. Hidden spy cameras can be as small as a pinhole or keychain, and they are often placed in our everyday devices, such as smoke detectors, adapters, etc. This article will give you a better idea.
There are several popular types of hidden cameras in the market:
How do hidden camera detectors work?
Most spy camera detectors mainly offer two ways to find hidden cameras:
- By checking for the reflective lights from the camera lens (like using a flashlight).
- By detecting the RF broadcast of the camera. Typically the detectors will beef when they find the signal, and give you the audible alerts.
How to deal with my boss, parents, and neighbors spying on me with hidden cameras?
If you suspect your boss, parents or neighbors are bugging you, you can use the above top 6 ways to find the hidden cameras. Take pictures of the hidden camera if you find it, and then report it to the police immediately.
Legislation on hidden cameras
All the states have strict legislation on privacy. Under no circumstances should anyone use hidden cameras to do illegal spying or surveillance.
Hidden spy cameras are not allowed in the below areas:
- Other people’s homes
- Dressing rooms
- Locker rooms
- Other areas that related to personal privacy
Laws also require that people cannot gather audio from:
- Remote recording
- Other illegal audio recording methods
In this article, we showed how to detect hidden spy cameras, what spots to look at first, methods that can help you locate a camera signal, etc. Always think where and how would you have hidden a security camera, put yourself in the shoes of the perpetrator and you’ll get better results.
If you have any personal experience, let us know in the comment box below and maybe we’ll add them to the article.