Cameras have various uses in our daily lives, from capturing beautiful memories with your family to keeping an eye on your surroundings, possessions, and loved ones.
But unfortunately, as with most things in life, they also come with a downside.
And in this case, hiding secret cameras in hotels, rehearsal rooms, public bathrooms, and planted in your house secretly – one can use these recordings against you for nefarious purposes, or your intimate and discrete moments may end up online on some dodgy website!
On the other hand, you might find spycams yourself useful too, to keep an eye on your kids, the nanny, or even to figure out if your spouse is honest to you!.
Although it is illegal to install one in a place where it would invade the privacy of others, they still do commonly happen.
So especially be cautious when staying at Airbnb’s, hostels, motels, and hotels.
- How can you detect the hidden cameras in your hotel room?
- Do you want to find out if there is a spy camera in your house?
- Or do you want to find out if there is something behind the mirror on the wall?
- Do you want to protect your home with your nanny cam?
If YES, this article will provide the best answers to all your questions.
What are hidden cameras or spy cameras exactly?
A .hidden camera defines a tiny object that is often used to record people without their consent; it is either not visible to people at all, or it is disguised as another object.
Hidden cameras can share their recordings either via storage on an SD card (this often is the case with very tiny objects that have no battery) or can have live-view on you, either Wi-Fi or over a regular internet connection.
Spycams come in different shapes and sizes, and they can be disguised as any object you can think of.
They can be small enough to fit into a tiny hole or in everyday devices, such as smoke detectors, books, pens, adapters, alarm clocks, etc.
Of course, all this is a bit of a grey area, as, for example, a nanny cam might be a useful tool for you to inspect that new babysitter to make sure things are okay with your kids or baby.
So you can read this guide both ways!
Some of the best-hidden cameras available on the market are:
Perhaps the most innocent-looking and reliable range is the charger spy cams. They look and are chargers but are, in fact, cameras too.
This is extra sneaky or helpful – depending on which side you are on – because this kind of spycam never runs out of power.
- USB Charger, the innocent-looking spy cam that never runs out of batteries!
- LIZVIE Hidden Camera with Phone Charger
- Spy camera USB Phone charger by WEMLB
Be aware, many of these have night vision, too, to make it even worse (or better!).
A quick note regarding Airbnb’s policy regarding security or surveillance cameras:
Airbnb requires the hosts to list any security cameras under Health and safety in Things to know section. According to Airbnb, hosts must mention all cameras or recording devices even if they are not functional. This means if you see a camera that you were unaware of, it would be a spy camera. Guests can report such cameras and even cancel their reservation and get a refund as well.
Where to find/plant the hidden cameras?
Many hidden cameras are/can be placed in plain sight, and you can easily detect a hidden camera in your room, hotel, or office by searching your surroundings carefully.
It would be best if you tried to search inch-by-inch to detect a hidden camera. Commonly hidden cameras are located in bulky objects like your furniture or bookshelves, wall décor, desk plants, etc.
Where to look for any hidden camera?
If you want to detect/plant the spy cameras, it’s good to know these cameras’ familiar places and positions.
Here are some usual places to find spy cameras or other suspicious devices;
- Lights, lamps, any light sources
- Wall décor and mirrors
- Bulky objects
- Teddy bears or other fluffy animals
- Couch cushions and shelves
- Electrical outlets or doorbell
- Sound Speakers
- Door holes and wall sockets
- Clock radio / Alarm clock
- Tissue boxes
- Smoke detectors (these are very popular because people expect them to have a functioning light anyway)
- Tie clips
- Light bulbs
- Small plant pots
Methods to search for any hidden cameras:
You can tell by the angle at which a particular object is positioned. For example, most cameras are aimed at the point where you would be standing, sitting, or sleeping. Or where you want your subject to get filmed.
Reverse the roles.
You can also look for suspicious wires, lights, and lenses that indicate a hidden spy camera. Once you find them, unplug them immediately to stop the cameras from working. However, quite often, if you find 1, there are more.
Some cameras are wired, others are wireless, and some use radio frequencies. In addition, some security cameras respond to motion and make a kind of whirring sound when they are operating.
Try to listen to this inaudible noise as you walk around the room.
1. The Simple Flashlight Method
There are nocturnal cameras that you can easily detect by turning off the lights in your room and shining a flashlight into the room. This is because eventually, all lenses are made of glass, and the glass surface reflects light.
To darken the room, and use a flashlight. If the flashlight hits the glass lens, it will reflect the light. A simple, quick tip to keep in mind.
- Turn off the room’s light and search in the dark so you can see the reflection of your flashlight.
- Shine your flashlight carefully on each suspicious object like James Bond because these cameras are quite small.
- Do not be in a hurry and try to examine each object carefully.
Be careful when using (women’s) public restrooms or locker rooms, where spy cameras are often installed on the other side of the double-sided mirror, reflective on one side and transparent on the other.
2. Get serious with anti-spy-cam equipment
If you want to gear up seriously, you should give the Wattne Anti Spy Detector/Bug Detector try.
Amazon sells this travel-sized anti-Hidden Camera Detector to detect any hidden camera in the room.
The spy camera detector has 12 LED lights with an infrared filter and can detect anything. The LED lights of this Detector hit the lens of a hidden camera and are reflected because almost every lens is made of glass.
Therefore, you can easily see the camera through the infrared filter. Furthermore, when these lights hit the lens of a hidden camera, they will be reflected, so you can easily find the hidden camera.
Professionals use it, and this is the real James Bond kind of stuff.
It has infrared scanning technology, magnetic detection, signal radio detection (2G, 3G, 4G, sim cards, GPS trackers, RF detector, etc.), and even AI (artificial intelligence) detection.
I own one, and it is a great device if you can afford it, and it has surprised my girlfriend and me already a few times. I will do a full review later on it.
3. Spy Camera Detection Software Using Your Phone:
Less reliable than the detected tools above, but still useful are the apps for your phone to scan the spy cameras; they are limited to the smartphone cameras capabilities and can use Wi-Fi or infrared light that is sensitive at night (basically limited to the phone’s hardware capabilities).
Also, be aware: these cannot detect wired cameras.
Best iPhone Spy Detection apps:
Best Android Phone Spy Detection apps:
- Glint finder detector
- Hidden camera detector gold
- Fing network tools
4. How to tell if a camera is hidden behind your mirror?
To check if there is a spy camera behind the mirror on your wall, you need to check the mirror itself.
Assuming it is a normal mirror, hiding a spy camera behind it is impossible.
So follow these steps to check your mirror:
Touch the mirror with your finger and pay attention to the gap between your finger and the mirror.
If your finger and the image of your finger in the mirror are touching at the tip, it means that the mirror is a two-way mirror, and everyone can see you through the other side of the mirror. So there could be a hidden camera behind the mirror.
This simple trick can be very useful, especially when traveling.
5. Through Wi-Fi scanning devices:
You can also scan devices in your environment connected to the Wi-Fi network. Your phone becomes your scanning device. There are many network scanners available online. With these, you can locate all connected devices within seconds.
All you need to do is turn off additional devices and run a scan.
Then you will see every device connected to the Wi-Fi network. If you see an unknown device, it is a Wi-Fi scan camera or other recording device connected to the wireless network.
As technology advances, it is becoming easier and easier to spy on someone with these tiny hidden cameras without them realizing it. And vice versa. You can also easier check in on the nanny.
Remember to look for hidden cameras in your hotel, Airbnb, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms, or bedrooms.
Also, I’d recommend getting the Wattne Anti-Spy if you’re traveling outside your house a lot!