Home » Home Security Tips » How to Detect Hidden Cameras

How to Detect Hidden Cameras

The simplest way to detect hidden cameras and listening devices placed outside and indoors is to use your smartphone. For example, if you’re using an Android phone, you can download and install a free app like Camera Finder from the Google Play store. 

Once the app is installed, launch it and walk around the area where you think the camera might be hidden. The app uses your phone’s magnetic sensor to detect metal objects, so if there’s a hidden camera nearby, the app should be able to find it.

How to Detect Hidden Cameras? 5 Ways to Find Spy Cams

When you have suspicions of hidden cameras, it’s easy to quickly get caught up and become irrational. After all, it is a truly frightening prospect. 

1. Scan the environment carefully for spy cams

Checking the surroundings carefully is one of the most basic methods to spot hidden cameras. As the first step,  simply looking around might be a useful way to detect more “obvious” secret cameras.

2. Check for keyholes, holes or unusual objects

Another classic way to find hidden cameras is to look for keyholes, small holes or any unusual objects which might be concealing a camera lens. If you’re still doubtful, place your finger over the hole and check if you can feel a lens inside.

3. Detect hidden cameras with a radio frequency detector

A radio frequency (RF) detector is a tool that can be used to locate and identify hidden cameras by detecting the camera’s radio frequency emissions. This can identify even the most well-hidden cameras that would be otherwise invisible to the eye. 

4. Use a mobile phone camera to find hidden cameras

This method is only suitable for finding infrared (IR) cameras, but it’s still worth mentioning. To do this, simply point your phone’s camera around the room and look for any bright dots that appear on the screen. These dots indicate the presence of an IR camera. 

5. Use a flashlight to find hidden cameras

This method works similarly to the mobile phone camera method, but with a flashlight instead of a camera. Simply turn off all the lights in the room and use a flashlight to scan the area for any reflective lenses that might be hiding a camera. 

What to Do When You Find a Hidden Camera

If you find something that looks like a camera or other tracking device, take a photo of it and do an image search to find out what it might be. It may be harmless, but do not touch it.

If your fears are confirmed, you should contact the police, hotel administration, or the booking service you used. Police will take fingerprints immediately, so refrain from attempting to pull it out or turn it off. If you aren’t in a position to leave the area immediately, use a towel or blanket to cover up where you suspect the camera is hidden.

If you’re staying in an Airbnb, the best thing to do is to exit the establishment as soon as possible and contact Airbnb immediately. Don’t put yourself in danger by bringing up your suspicions with the owner; contact the police.

How to Detect Hidden Camera in Mirrors

You’re not alone if you’ve ever stood in front of a mirror and experienced a sudden onslaught of memories of all the scary movies you’ve seen. Mirrors can be frightening on their own, and your mind is liable to play tricks on you. 

That’s perhaps partially why they make such an excellent location to hide a spy camera that appears normal. Here are some ways to check for a hidden camera in your mirror.

1. Look for a lens

This is the most obvious way to tell if there is a camera hidden in a mirror. If you see a small, black circle in the center of the mirror, it’s probably a lens. If you can’t see it from your vantage point, move around the room and look at the mirror from different angles.

Woman observes herself in a vanity mirror

2. Check for a reflection

If you see a reflection in the mirror that doesn’t seem right, it could be because there is a camera behind it. This is especially true if you see a reflection of something that isn’t in the room, like light or another person.

3. Listen for a noise

If you think there might be a camera hidden in the mirror, try turning off all the lights in the room. If you hear a faint clicking sound coming from the mirror, it may indicate that a camera is on.

4. Look for wires

Another way to tell if there is a hidden camera in a mirror is to look for wires leading to the mirror. If you see any suspicious wires, it’s likely that there is a camera hidden behind the mirror.

5. Use a flashlight

If you’re still not sure if there is a hidden camera in the mirror, try using a flashlight. Shine the light on the mirror and look for the outline of a camera; its lens will reflect the light, so the lens should be visible.

How to Detect Hidden Cameras in Smoke Detectors 

If the smoke detector is mounted on the wall, approach it from the side; approach it from above if it’s attached to the ceiling. Because video cameras hidden in smoke detectors are generally restricted to a 90 to 95 degree field of view, a stealth approach is recommended to avoid being seen and perhaps filmed during an investigation of the device.

Take a look at the face of the detector for any unusual protrusions or irregularities. For example, a small hole in the grillework may indicate that a camera is hidden behind it. Hold a strong light up to the grille and look again if you can’t see anything.

Look for any suspicious wires protruding from the smoke detector. These may indicate that a camera has been installed inside the device.

Young adult woman (female age 25-35) checking fire alarm at home.Real people.

Remove the smoke detector from its mounting, if possible. Once you have access to the back of the unit, look for any signs that a camera has been installed. Wires leading into the unit or an unusual weight in the smoke detector may be indicative of a hidden camera.

If you suspect that a camera has been installed in the smoke detector, you can attempt to disable it by unplugging any wires leading into the unit. However, be aware that this may also disable the smoke detector’s ability to function properly. If you are unsure, it is best to consult with a professional before taking any action.

5 Best Apps for Hidden Cams Detection

One of the most convenient ways to detect hidden cameras when you’re out and about and don’t have access to ‘professional tools’ is to use your mobile phone as a hidden camera detector.

There are plenty of apps available in the Google Play Store and App Store, and though they can’t exactly be described as the ideal solution, if you’re looking for a fast way to detect hidden cameras, they’ll certainly aid in the process by detecting magnetic sensors and infrared light. 

We’ve compiled a list of reliable spy camera detectors that you can use wherever you go. Combined with our other tips of hidden camera detection, you should find it easier to locate spy devices.

1. Spy Hidden Camera Detector

Available on the App Store. $4.99.

4.5 | 1.2k ratings | Jakobi Teknik

This app uses your phone’s camera to scan for hidden cameras. It works by scanning for reflections off of the lens of a hidden camera. If it detects a reflection, it will notify you with an alarm sound.

2. Hidden Camera Detector Free

Available on Google Play. Free. 

3.8/5 | 19.8k ratings | Future Apps

This app also uses your phone’s camera to scan for hidden cameras. It works by looking for the infrared (IR) light that is emitted by most hidden cameras. If it detects an IR light, it will notify you with an alarm sound.

3. Hidden Spy Camera Detector

Available on the App Store. Free. 

3.6/5 | 1.4k ratings | LSC, LLC

This app uses your smartphone’s magnetic sensor to scan for hidden camera lenses. If there is a camera nearby, the app will notify you with a loud alarm sound.

4. Glint Finder

Available on the App Store. Free.

5/5 | 1 rating | YUEWANWAN HAO

This app also uses your phone’s magnetic sensor to detect hidden cameras. However, instead of an alarm sound, it uses a red light that blinks when there is a camera present.

5. Hidden Camera Detector Pro

Available on Google Play. Free.

3.6/5 | 180 ratings | SmartekSG

This app uses both your phone’s camera and magnetic sensor to detect hidden cameras. In addition, it will notify you with an alarm sound if it detects a hidden camera.

FAQ

Can a cell phone detect a hidden camera?

Yes, your cell phone can detect a hidden camera. All you need to do is download a hidden camera detector app. Once you have the app installed, simply open it and scan the area for any hidden cameras. The app will then alert you if any cameras are found.

What is the easiest way to find hidden cameras?

One of the easiest ways to find hidden cameras is to use your cell phone. Simply download a hidden camera detector app and open it up. Then, scan the area for any cameras. The app will alert you if any are found.

What are signs of hidden cameras?

There are a few signs that there may be hidden cameras in an area. If you notice any strange objects or devices, they may be hiding a camera. Another sign is if you see wires running through walls or under furniture. This is another indicator that there may be a hidden camera present.

How can you tell if a light bulb has a hidden camera?

If you are suspicious that a light bulb may contain a hidden camera, there are a few things you can do to check:

  1. See if the light bulb is turned on. If it is, then it is not a hidden camera.
  2. Look at the size of the light bulb. It is probably a hidden camera if it is significantly larger than a normal light bulb.
  3. Check for a lens on the light bulb.

If you see a lens, it is most likely a hidden camera.

What are some ways to disable a hidden camera?

First, you can cover the camera with tape. This will block the view of the camera and prevent it from recording. Another way to disable a hidden camera is to unplug it from its power source. This will stop the camera from working altogether. Finally, you can destroy the camera. This will ensure that it can never be used again.

Conclusion

Encountering, or even just suspecting the presence of, a hidden device is a frightening ordeal. It’s a serious invasion of privacy and must never be played down or ignored; you should notify the police immediately, and they should launch a full investigation into the incident.

While detecting a hidden camera means you can cover it up or leave the premises, you should never attempt to disable, remove, or turn it off yourself. Fingerprints will need to be obtained upon the arrival of the police, so try not to touch, wipe, or interfere with it in any way in the meantime.