What’s the easiest way to detect hidden secret cameras in your apartment, house or hotel room? How to find hidden security cameras behind mirrors?
We’ve summed 6 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.
The below step-by-step guide enables you to find hidden cameras within minutes. Most of the ways are totally FREE! Sometimes just a little trick can make the spy cameras no place to hide.
#1. Scan the Environment Carefully
#2. Turn off the Lights in the Room
#3. Use Your iPhone or Android Mobile Phones
#4. Apply a Professional Detector or Sensor
#5. Check the Mirrors at Your Place
#6. Use the Flashlight to Find Hidden Cameras
One of the easiest way 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.
Most Common Places to Find Hidden Cameras Indoors
• Smoke detectors
• Air filter equipment
• Wall décors
• Electrical outlets
• Desk plants
• Tissue boxes
• Stuffed teddy bears
• Couch cushions, table tops, and shelves
• DVD cases
• Lava lamps
Most Common Positions to Locate Hidden Cameras & Microphones Outdoors
• House plants
• Holes on the doors
• The roof 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.
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.
You can follow the below steps to find hidden IP cameras when in dark conditions.
Step 1. Draw the curtains in your room, and turn off the lights.
Step 2. 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.
Should-Not-Miss Tip: It’s also an easy way to check if a security camera is on.
Many Quora posters① ask whether they can use their mobile phones to find hidden cameras, and the answer is “Yep”!
There are 2 easy and free ways you can take to find hidden cameras using your iPhone or Android smartphones even without detectors.
Way 1. Use a Phone Call to Check for Hidden Cameras & Microphones
Step 1. Make a phone call with your friends or family.
Step 2. 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 this place carefully to find out whether there is a hidden security camera there.
Way 2. Use Mobile App to Find Hidden Cameras & Listening Devices
Step 1. Install a “detect hidden cameras” app on your iPhone or Android mobile phones. For example, “Spy hidden camera detector” app (.apk) software is a good option.
You can check more apps to detect hidden cameras here.
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 radio frequency.
Helpful Tip: When you are traveling and stay in the 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 tab on your stuff.
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Professional RF signal detectors or other bug detectors are quite effective to locate hidden security cameras.
A lot of news have reported that people keep finding hidden cameras in their rental Airbnb② 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
1. Buy a professional detector on Amazon or other online shops. The price varies greatly, ranging from several bucks to hundreds of dollars.
2. 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 a 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.
Good news is that bad guys would not install hidden cameras with complex frequent network signals, since this type of hidden spy cameras is much more expensive.
Remember to find hidden cameras in the mirrors in the toilet, changing or trial rooms, etc. As you may know, some awful guys would 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.
An active poster asked for help on Quora③ to find whether there are hidden cameras in the bathroom mirror.
There’s a useful tip you can use to detect such two-way mirrors in fitting rooms, toilets, bathrooms, etc.
1. Put your fingernail on the mirror.
2. 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 you finger and the image touch tip to tip, there would be a hidden spy camera in the mirror.
You can also use this trick to know whether there are hidden cameras in your hotel rooms when you travel.
A straightforward way to detect hidden cameras is using the flashlight (works best in dark conditions).
1. Turn on the flashlight and turn of the lights in your room.
2. 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.
You can check the below video to check the steps to find hidden cameras, microphone and other listening devices.
We also sum up the top 6 ways in the below infographic (you can share with your friends and family).
What to Do If You Detect Hidden Spy Surveillance Cameras at Your Place
If you find hidden cameras in your room, you should take the below procedures.
Step 1. Don’t move or touch the hidden cameras. (The police would collect the fingerprints to locate the criminal.)
Step 2. Take all of your belongs out of the viewing angle of the camera.
Step 3. Take pictures of the camera for evidences.
Step 4. Call the police or other authorities to investigate the case.
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 comment below! We will feature your ideas in this post.
Q 1. What Do Hidden Cameras Look Like?
A 1: Hidden cameras come in different sizes and shapes, and they can look like almost everything. Hidden spy cameras can be as small as the pinhole or keychain, and they are often placed in our everyday devices, such as smoke detectors, adapters, etc.
There are several popular types of hidden cameras in the market:
• USB flash drive spy cameras
• AC adapter type
• Smoke detector type
• Clock radio type
Q 2. How Do Hidden Camera Detectors Work?
A 2: An OP on Quora④ would like to know about the operation theory of the hidden camera detectors, and we add this question here.
Most spy camera detectors mainly offer 2 ways to find hidden cameras:
• Check for the reflective lights from the camera lens (like using a flashlight).
• Detect the RF broadcast of the camera. Typically the detectors will beef when they find the signal, and give you the audible alerts.
Q 3. How to Deal with My Boss, Parents and Neighbors Spying on Me with Hidden Cameras?
A 3: 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.
Q 4. Legislation on Hidden Cameras
A 4: Laws 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
Join in the Discussion
How can you detect hidden cameras in TV or laptop? Do you have other easy tips to spot hidden spy cameras? Share your ways with us below ↓.
① Quora posters’ questions: How to detect hidden cameras using iPhone and Android mobile phones? How to detect hidden cameras and microphones in hotel bedroom using cellphones?
② An Answers.Yahoo poster’s question: How to detect spy cameras in my hotel/Airbnb room?
③ Reddit OP’s question: How to detect a hidden camera that I suspect is in the bathroom mirror at my job?
④ Quora OP’s post: How do hidden cameras detectors work when spotting spy cameras?