Are you wondering how to detect hidden cameras? Maybe you’re concerned about cameras in public places, or perhaps you’re worried about micro-cameras in hotel rooms (or your own house). This guide will give you a few tips for locating hidden cameras.
To find a hidden camera, start by breaking a room down into sections and then searching each area. Use your instincts to look for anything out of the ordinary. Cameras need a power source, so they will likely be located near walls and power cords. There are also apps and RF detectors that can help you locate hidden devices.
In the next sections, we’ll break down several ways to find hidden cameras. We’ll also provide some tips to stay safe from hidden cameras while traveling.
The Ten Ways to Detect Hidden Cameras
Many people worry about hidden cameras in their hotel rooms or Air BnBs. This is a legitimate concern, and it’s worth it to learn some techniques to detect hidden cameras. In the next sections, we’ll discuss what to look out for, and we’ll go over some commonsense tips for staying safe.
Here are ten ways to detect a hidden camera:
- Know the risks
- Use your eyes and scan
- Know where to look
- Use a WIFI App
- Use an RF Detector
- Test the Mirrors
- Turn off the Lights
- Ask the owners of the establishment
- Remain self-aware and use common sense
- Hire a Professional
Let’s look at each of these things in more depth.
Know The Risks Factors for Hidden Cameras
The first thing to be aware of is the environment. If you’re trying to avoid bears, it’s important to know where the bears live. It’s the same way with hidden cameras – if you’re trying to detect a small camera, then you should pay attention to where it might be.
First, think about public spaces. This means bathrooms, dressing rooms, hotels, bed and breakfasts, private rentals, and more.
Why are these areas hot spots for hidden cameras? A couple reasons. First, there are people who illegally place hidden cameras to try to capture videos or images for nefarious purposes. These people have criminal intent, and they may have no association with the area at all.
Second, and often more likely, the owner of the establishment will be trying to protect their property and ensure that whoever is using their space is following the rules.
They might also try to use the cameras to blame people for damages or theft.
Both situations we just described are concerns. And, even if someone owns the property, they would never be allowed to place cameras in areas like the bathroom. Many would argue that it’s still wrong to hide cameras in other places, but this can become murky from a legal perspective.
Now that you know where to look for cameras – and the type of people who might hide them – let’s talk about how to find them.
Use Your Eyes to Scan the Room
Your best option is to use your eyes. Even the smallest of cameras are not completely invisible. Most of them still use some sort of glass lens, and this will catch the light and often be reflective.
Break the room down into sections and sweep each area systematically. Take your time and just look around. If you take it slow, you’ll likely be able to notice anything out of the ordinary. Just being aware is important.
But where should you look for cameras? There are a few spots – let’s talk about them.
Know Where to Look for Hidden Cameras
Hidden cameras can be small, but they still need several things. They need a power source or a large enough battery. They also need a clear visual path. Which means that the lens won’t be behind a bookshelf, because then it wouldn’t see anything.
A good way to get an idea of what to look for is to do a quick Amazon search for small hidden cameras. When you do this, you’ll see that many cameras are made to look like a USB charger. Also, some are hidden in books or will be attached to some other electronic device.
Leave no area unsearched, but realize that cameras need a power source, so they are more likely to be in proximity to the wall.
Use a WIFI App to Detect Hidden Cameras
The next thing you can do to find a hidden camera is to download an app on your phone. What will this do? These apps scan the WIFI network and let you know how many devices are using the network.
Most hidden cameras are WIFI cameras – that means they transmit video via WIFI so that someone can watch the feed live. After you download this app, you’ll be able to see if someone has an unknown device on the WIFI.
This can work, but it’s not always great for public places, as you might not be able to identify the device, or the camera might be using an SD card instead (taking loop recordings).
Use an RF Detector
An RF detector will help detect RF frequencies. This method can work, but it’s often sensitive to other power sources. So, if you want to use this method, you’ll have to take the time to learn how to use the tool.
Test the Mirrors for Hidden Camera
The mirrors are a prime spot for hidden cameras, as this is an area where the cameras could be hidden in place sight, becoming nearly invisible.
As you might know, some mirrors are made like windows, where one side can see through the mirror, while the other side can’t. If one of these mirrors is in your hotel, then it would be easy for someone to place a camera behind it.
To test the mirror, place your finger on the mirror. If it looks like there is space between your finger, then it’s a normal mirror. However, if it looks like your finger is touching its reflection, this means that it could be a see-through mirror.
If you suspect something behind the mirror, you might be able to carefully take the mirror down to check. Also, know that the finger trick doesn’t always work. You can also turn off the lights and shine a flashlight to see if there’s anything behind the mirror.
Turn off the Lights to Look for Cameras
With the light off, you might become aware of a small blinking light or another power source. This may help tip you off to cameras. Also, if you’re trying to check vents or other crevices for mirrors, having the lights off can help you see inside.
Also, if you suspect that there are mirrors in the area, keeping the lights off will make the cameras ineffective. Yes, there are some cameras that can see in the dark, but these are typically larger and will be much easier to spot.
Ask the Owners of the Place About Hidden Cameras
If you’re concerned about an Airbnb, for example, there’s nothing wrong with asking the owners if they have video or security cameras around the place. Their response to this question will tell you a lot.
If you ask these questions respectfully, you can gain some insight without offending anyone. Also, if you suspect someone has placed hidden cameras, don’t be afraid to leave a public review stating that you found hidden cameras. This will serve as a warning to others, and it may make the people hiding cameras change their minds.
Remain Self-Aware and Use Common Sense in Public Areas
Use some common sense and remain self-aware. Realize that cameras aren’t the only problem – there could also be audio recorders somewhere, and these can be nearly impossible to find.
So, what do you do?
When you’re on a vacation or staying in an unfamiliar place, just watch what you say and what you do. Yes, it’s too bad that we must constantly be on guard, but in this modern day, we can’t be too careful.
If you get in the habit of being a little guarded while staying somewhere foreign, then you will find that you can still relax.
Hire a Professional to Search Your Home for Cameras
If you suspect that hidden cameras have been placed in or around your home, reach out to a professional to help inspect your home. They will be able to do a thorough sweep, ensuring that you don’t have any eyes lurking somewhere.
Now, let’s go over our final thoughts.
Final Thoughts on How to Detect a Hidden Camera
The best way to find a hidden camera is to ask yourself: where would I hide a camera here? Look around the room systematically and inspect areas section by section. Look out for anything out of the ordinary. Realize that cameras need a power source, so they are likely near a wall or ceiling.
Finally, use common sense while in public areas. Yes, it’s wrong for others to hide cameras without telling anyone; however, the world is the way it is, and you should do your best to stay vigilant.