- While hidden cameras can be used for positive purposes, they have also been abused by people who use them to invade the privacy of others.
- Most hidden cameras can be detected using your smartphone itself.
- We list down several ways and tips to detect hidden cameras and stay safe when you travel.
While going out is supposed to be having fun, when you stay in a hotel or happen to use public restrooms or even go to trial rooms in clothing stores, it’s good to ensure there aren’t any hidden cameras. While authorities and many organizations are working their best to ensure you won’t face any such bad experiences, we still have to check and make sure there aren’t any hidden cameras before using them.
Luckily, if you have your smartphone, it’s more than easy to find all those cameras and have a piece of mind. So, how to detect hidden cameras using your smartphone? Read along to find out.
What Are Hidden/Spy Cameras?
A hidden camera or a spy camera is a small video camera used for recording people without their knowledge. Hidden cameras can be used for security purposes, such as monitoring a home or business, or they can be used to record people for personal use secretly. Hidden cameras usually have an infrared (IR) LED that allows them to record clear images in low-light or dark conditions.
While hidden cameras can be used for positive purposes, they have also been abused by people who use them to invade the privacy of others. In some cases, hidden cameras have been found in places like public bathrooms and changing rooms, where people are recorded without their consent. This has led to concerns about personal privacy and the misuse of hidden camera technology.
What Does a Hidden Camera Look Like?
There are a variety of different types of hidden cameras, each with its own specific purposes. Some common types of hidden cameras include smoke detectors, screws, USB chargers, and routers. Hidden cameras can come in various shapes and sizes and can be disguised as almost anything. It is important to be aware of the many different ways that someone could be spying on you and take steps to protect yourself from hidden cameras.
Where are Hidden Cameras Usually Located?
Hidden cameras are usually located in these areas:
- Electronic Devices like phones or USB sticks. They can be hidden in many places, including power outlets and telephones.
- Smoke Detectors and Alarms
- Toilets and bathrooms – on the ceilings, in the air vents, under the sink, or behind the toilet.
9 Ways to Detect Hidden Cameras with a Smartphone
Now that we know what hidden cameras are, how they look and work, and where they are usually placed, let’s look at different methods of detecting spy cameras using your smartphone.
Find hidden camera in room by making a call from your smartphone
Remember those old speakers that make a specific sound when you receive a phone call and are placed next to it? The reason for that sound was because of the electromagnetic disturbances caused by the signals from the phone and some components inside the speaker. Well, guess which device can be found with this sorcery? Follow these steps to find out:
- Make a phone call with your iPhone or Android.
- Now, observe for any kind of buzzing or crackling sound.
- If you find any, look for the source of the sound.
Even if you don’t find any device, contact the respective people and ask about the source of the sound.
Use phone camera app to detect hidden cameras
Cameras are called photographers eye, and it’s this eye that’s gonna guide you from those creepy hidden eyes. How? Usually, these hidden cameras use the help of IR to capture data. While they can’t be seen through the naked eye, you can see spot them using your smartphone’s camera app:
- Open the camera app on your smartphone
- Start to look around the place through the camera.
- Check if you could see a blinking light source that wasn’t visible before.
- If you do, then look at the area to see if there are any hidden cameras.
How to detect hidden camera by scanning Wi-Fi with mobile phone
To do its pesky activities efficiently, many hidden cameras are required to be connected to a Wi-Fi connection to transfer the data to their creepy owners.
- Turn on Wi-Fi on your smartphone.
- Visit the Wi-Fi page and look for any unusual names.
Even if you find unusual names, they may not be hidden cameras since some people’s creative minds are much more than the appreciable levels. But follow the rest of the guide to discover more ways in which you can spot hidden cameras using your Android phone or iPhone.
Use third-party hidden camera detector apps
While using cameras can help you find IR cameras, it still can’t be considered the best app to detect hidden cameras since it was never its purpose. For that, you need apps that are built for this purpose. While many apps claim to do the same, We think the Hidden camera detector is the best app to detect hidden cameras.
Install the app and check various options, as well as the instructions to detect hidden cameras with the app. Besides what we have suggested, You can find many different options from Play Store and App Store.
- Hidden Spy Camera Detector (Android)
- Hidden Camera Detector – Spy Camera Finder (Android)
- Hidden Device Detector Camera (Android)
- Hidden Camera Detector (iPhone)
- Spy Hidden Camera Detector (iPhone)
- Electromagnetic Detector EMF (iPhone)
- Hidden Spy Camera Finder (iPhone)
Turn on Flashlight to find hidden cameras
It’s the primary nature of lenses to reflect when exposed to a light source. We are going to use this characteristic of the lens to spot hidden cameras. Simply turn on the flashlight and flash it around the room. Be sure you are close to objects while checking since the hidden camera lens will be comparatively small, and so does its reflection. To spot them, you need to be closer to them.
Specifically, look at smoke detectors, electrical outlets, power strips, wall hangings, clocks, clothes hooks, etc.
Bonus: Other ways to detect hidden cameras
While smartphones are one of the best ways to detect hidden cameras, there are other ways that you can try and double down on your privacy.
Check if there are any unusual devices or items in the room
Wherever you go, make sure to check thoroughly to ensure everything is safe. Look around for any suspicious object or even a thing. And if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious about a particular item, make sure to contact the respective people and clear your doubts.
Switch off all lights and observe the room
As we have mentioned before, many hidden cameras use IR sensors to capture data. Please turn off the lights, draw the curtains, and use the camera on your smartphone to spot them. This is specifically helpful to detect night vision cameras.
Use the help of experts to detect hidden camera
Despite all of the methods mentioned above, you might still be unable to detect hidden cameras in the bathroom or other spaces. So it is best to take the help of an expert to spot all of them and ensure peace of mind. A quick search on the internet can easily help you mind many experts who can detect hidden cameras for you.
Since we are hiring someone for their service, it might not come cheap. But if you can afford one, this might be one of the best ways to ensure your privacy.
Scan for hidden cameras using dedicated devices
While smartphones mostly come in handy to detect hidden cameras, you can get better results if you use devices meant for this use case. If you are someone who travels quite often, it’s good to invest in such a device.
Specialized RF detectors can be used to detect secret recording devices. The detector is very sensitive to the radio waves wireless cameras emit. The detector gives audible signals that get more frequent as you move closer to the source.
What to do if you found a spying device?
The first thing to do when you find a hidden camera is to not freak out. Take a picture or video of the device using your smartphone and contact Police. Be sure not to touch or interact with the device and let it stay where it is until you get law enforcement support.
It’s a shame that we still have to be concerned about cheap things like hidden cameras while using public spaces. While with this guide, I hope you can have peace of mind when using an unknown place; let’s hope people’s mentality to use hidden cameras will come to an end eventually. According to you, what are the measures the authorities need to take to put an end to this? Let us know in the comments.
FAQs around detecting hidden cameras
In general, it is legal to purchase and install hidden cameras, as long as everyone being recorded knows about the cameras and consents. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, installing hidden cameras in public places can create legal problems. Additionally, it is illegal to record people without their consent in certain places, such as bathrooms.
To detect hidden cameras in mirrors, check around the mirror to see if you can spot any wires or blinking lights. Slightly press against the mirror and see if there's any gap between the glass and the reflective surface. If you couldn't spot any, then it might be a two-way mirror. And someone from the other side may be able to view what's happening on your side. You can also flash your smartphone's torch light and see if there are any camera lenses.
To detect hidden cameras from the light bulbs, turn off the lights and see if you can see any glow from those bulbs. If you notice anything suspicious, report it to whomever it is concerned.
To detect hidden cameras in smoke detectors, see if you see any kind of darker glass on them. Check to see if you can notice any kind of glow around the smoke detector. But never ever dismantle or unwire anything inside a smoke detector.
There are a number of ways to detect hidden cameras using your smartphone. One way is to make a call and walk around the room, looking for any devices that may be recording you. Another way is to download an App that can help you detect hidden cameras. There are a number of different Apps available, and they vary in accuracy and features. However, most of these Apps are fairly reliable and can help you find hidden cameras quickly and easily.