Security cameras are excellent tools to keep an eye on places that cannot be manned. A mere sight of a CCTV cameras is enough to deter robbers and other anti-social elements. Like every useful tool in the world though, such cameras can be a major nuisance if fell in wrong hands. It is every stalker’s dream come true. Just last year, there were multiple cases of hotels, shopping malls, and Air BnB hosts being arrested for installing hidden cameras to film unsuspecting guests. As the name suggests, hidden cameras are difficult to spot. These devices are so tiny that they can be easily concealed or hidden behind harmless looking household stuff.
No need to get paranoid though, as there are ways to deal with such creep cameras. We have listed out some of the most simple and effective ways to find these unwanted prying eyes. So, next time you rent an apartment or check-in to a hotel, make sure to take these precautions.
Stalkers are known to hide cameras behind mirrors. These are two-way mirrors, with a hollow block on the back. Since the insides of the box will always be dark, the bright side which faces you shows reflection. The best way to detect such setup is to turn off the lights, and use a torch light on the mirror. This will light up the hollow space behind the mirror (if any). Get close to the mirror and check if you can see anything behind the mirror. If you can see the torchlight on the other side, there’s a good chance that a creep has rigged a mirror to spy on you.
After dealing with mirrors, it is time examine the room for suspicious pin-hole openings, blinking LEDs, or suspicious wires. Be extremely attentive when checking areas near lamps, plants, or decor items.
Using your phone
After a good-old fashion survey of the room, it is time to let technology help you out. Since many hidden cameras use Infrared light to enhance the low-light imaging, you can hunt for Infrared light to hunt for hidden cameras. Infrared light, although invisible to a human eye, is caught by your camera’s viewfinder. As shown in the image below, the infrared light should appear as the bright purple beam of light. For demonstration purpose, we have shown TV remote controller’s Infrared light in phone’s viewfinder.
To detect a simple camera, you may use a strobe light. The idea here is to reveal the camera lens with flashes of light. You don’t require any special device for this. Simply install the Flashlight app, which is freely available in the Play Store. Set the flash frequency to over eight, which will make it work as a strobe light. With flashing LEDs on, slowly move your phone to each and every suspicious spot in the room. If there’s any lens pointing at you, it will reflect visible light. You should be able to see faint red light from a hidden camera’s lens.
Lastly, if you don’t want to leave anything to a chance, you should invest in an anti-spy camera detector device. Smaller than your average mobile phone, these devices are quite handy. You can pick-up one for around a grand or two in India.
These devices generally use multiple LED lights to detect even the tiniest reflection from a hidden camera. These are also equipped with RF (Radio Frequency) detector, which as its name suggests detects the radio frequency emitted by wireless cameras. If this gadget beeps near any spot, you can check that area thoroughly for any suspicious object.
Of course, in addition to all this, common sense is your best defense. Don’t book hotels without checking its reputation. If it is AirBnB or similar service, read guest reviews, especially the ones with lowest rating. Also, follow your intuition, if you get a feeling that something’s not right, find another hotel. There are plenty of options after all.