Covert Recording Equipment

Smart Ways to Detect Covert Microphones and Cameras

Do you occasionally get the feeling that you're being shadowed or stalked? Perhaps you simply want to up your security for your own peace of mind. Given below are ways to detect microphones and cameras hidden in your home, office or vehicle.

First Method: Preliminary Sweep

1. Conduct a thorough scan of the suspected area. In particular, concentrate on those places where you suspect covert recording equipment could be concealed.

- Look for things that seem out place. For instance, lampshades, flowerpots or any other items that could be used to hold a small camera or mic. Also check the smoke detectors, because they are perfect spots to hide covert recording equipment.

- Do sweeps of container equipment like vases and flowerpots, as a tiny microphone may be hidden there.

- Look under the couches, inside chairs and sofas, and on tabletops. To be thorough, check inside the couch cushions to see if some covert recording equipment is concealed there.

- Look around for idle wires that don't appear to be connected to an active appliance. While “hardwired” (non-wireless) spying equipment is not typically used what with modern technology, it is still in use in commercial business for a permanent surveillance to avoid losses.

2. Walk around the room quietly and remain alert for any unusual sounds.

- Small and motion-sensitive mics and cameras tend to emit almost indiscernible clicking sounds when they are active.

Second Method: Take advantage of darkness

1. Switch off all the lights in the room, and try to look for green or red LED lights. Certain types of microphones emit a light when they are active, and there is a chance that the criminal may get careless and forget to deactivate or cover this feature while setting up the covert recording equipment.

2. In the darkened room, examine the mirrors using a flashlight. Mirrors can be designed to have a transparent side so it can accommodate a camera. But they only work when the spy's side of the mirror is cast in shadow, so that the side facing the location being observed remains reflective.

3. Look around the dark room to see if you can spot a pinhole camera. Pinhole cameras might contain a charge-coupled device (CCD) behind a small opening in an object or a wall. You'll need a flashlight and an empty tissue paper tube. Close one eye and put the rounded tube over the other eye to scan the entire room, sweeping the flashlight around. See if you can see tiny glimmers reflecting at you.

Third Method: Make use of a Signal Detector

1. If you feel some covert recording equipment is spying on you, acquire an RF transmitter and use it to sweep your house, workplace, vehicle or driveway. Sometimes, the bugs concealed in the area emit multiple frequencies called “spread spectrum”, which a basic RF cannot detect. These devices are more advanced, so you'll need a spectrum analyzer to fish them out. You will also need to hire a technician who knows the ins and outs of uncovering covert recording equipment.

2. Your phone can also be useful. Make a call and wave the phone around the area you suspect is bugged. If some covert recording equipment is hidden in the room, you'll be able to hear a buzzing or clicking sound as you speak on the phone. This sound will indicate the presence of an electromagnetic device.

Safety Tips

- Scan hotel rooms thoroughly.

- If you do find covert recording equipment, don't panic. Simply inform the local authorities. Try to act normally and pretend you are not suspicious at all. Leave the bugged spot and place a call to the law enforcement agencies. They will need to see solid proof that the spy devices were actually installed and not simply placed in the room.

- Ensure that your computer's webcam and microphone are turned off when inactive, as they could also be bugged.

- Wireless spying devices are slightly larger as they have wireless transmitters. They can record information within an area of approximately 200 feet (61 meters).

Warnings

- When you're doing a stealthy scan, conceal the RF detector. Make sure the device is on silent mode.

- Be discreet and don't give the spy any indication that you're looking for the covert recording equipment.

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