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How to Find Hidden Cameras — 6 Possible Ways

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hidden camera in ventilation grill

Whenever you spend the night somewhere new, it’s important that you inspect the room for any hidden cameras as soon as you get into the room. Unfortunately, many predators rent out spaces so that they can secretly videotape unsuspecting customers.

Luckily, there are ways that you can find hidden cameras. Use the six following techniques to confirm there are no hidden cameras where you are staying.

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How to Find Hidden Cameras — 6 Possible Ways

1. Use Your Eyes

man changing bulb

Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

Believe it or not, most hidden cameras are actually placed in plain sight. This makes it a lot easier to disguise the hidden camera. So, use your eyes to try to find hidden cameras as soon as you get into the room.

There are certain locations where hidden cameras are frequently hidden. Some places to look include:

  • Clocks, watches, USB ports, or clothes hooks
  • Small holes in the wall
  • Electrical outlets
  • Lava lamps
  • Stuffed animals
  • Pictures or other decorations
  • Power strips
  • Books, DVD cases, or video game cases
  • Laptops
  • Shelves
  • Smoke detectors
  • Desktops
  • Computer mice
  • Night lights

Additionally, consider positioning whenever you are looking for hidden cameras. Most often, hidden cameras will be positioned in such a way so that it has the best coverage for a single room. For example, corners are a great location for hidden cameras.


2. Turn Off the Lights and Pull Out a Flashlight

hand holding light switch

Image Credit: Alexey Rotanov, Shutterstock

If you do not see any hidden cameras initially, that does not mean hidden cameras are not there. Another way that you can check for hidden cameras is to turn off the lights. As soon as the lights are off, look for any flashing lights that should not be there.

Not all flashing lights will be hidden cameras, though. Some smoke detectors emit light, as do other appliances. Even so, definitely take the time to double-check a flashing light to ensure it is not a hidden camera.

Then, pull out your flashlight on your phone. Slowly cover the entire room with your flashlight. This method works because night-vision cameras will have a special covering that reflects light. As a result, any hidden cameras will reflect your flashlight back to you.


3. Download Camera Finding Apps

woman holding smartphone

Image Credit: Piqsels

If you travel frequently, you might want to download a camera-finding app. There are many camera-finding apps that specifically look for hidden CCTV surveillance cameras. These cameras work through Wi-Fi, not wired Ethernet. If there are any Wi-Fi-connected cameras in the area, the app should pick them up.

iOS Apps Android Apps
Fing Fing
Don’t Spy Glint Finder
Spy Hidden Camera Detector Detectify

4. Buy a Camera Detector

If you don’t have a smartphone or are not pleased with the camera-finding apps, you can purchase professional camera detectors and sensors. Amazon sells many camera finders.

The good thing about purchasing professional camera finders is that there will be a detector for practically every camera type. For example, you can find devices such as spy cameras, Wi-Fi cameras, GPS tracking devices, and even audio bugs.

The downside to this option is that professionally made camera detectors are incredibly expensive. This price may be well worth it if you travel frequently.


5. Make Your Own Camera Detector

man using flashlight

Image Credit: Serenethos, Shutterstock

If you don’t want to purchase a professionally made camera detector, you can actually make your own. DIY camera detectors won’t be as extensive as professionally made ones, but they can get the job done in certain scenarios.

What you will need to do is grab a paper towel roll and a flashlight. Those are the only two things you need. Turn off the lights and make sure all blinds are shut. You want the room to be as dark as possible.

Then, bring the paper towel roll up to one eye and close your other. Place the flashlight at eye level, directly in front of the closed eye. Turn on the flashlight. Scan the room and see if you see any reflections.

This method is virtually the same as the second method. The only difference is that the paper towel roll will force your eye to focus, making it easier to see any reflections that may be there.


6. Check for One-Way Mirrors

man installing mirror

Image Credit: Andrew Angelov, Shutterstock

The last way to confirm there are no hidden cameras in your area is to make sure that your mirror is not a one-way mirror. One-way mirrors are those that look like regular mirrors, but someone can see you from the other side.

One-way mirrors in and of themselves do not mean there’s a hidden camera. However, a one-way mirror makes a convenient mask for a camera. All the criminal needs to do is place the camera behind the mirror, and you’ll be none the wiser.

There is an easy test to see if a mirror is a one-way mirror. Put your fingernail directly on the mirror. If there is no space between your fingernail and the reflection, it is a one-way mirror. If there is a small gap between your fingernail and its reflection, it’s a normal mirror.

If you find that your mirror is a one-way mirror, you don’t necessarily have a hidden camera on your hands. You will want to check behind the mirror to make sure there is no camera or viewing area, though.

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What to Do if You Find a Hidden Camera

If you find a hidden camera in your room, it’s important to act appropriately. First and foremost, don’t move or touch the camera, but you can unplug it. Take all your belongings and move them out of the way so the camera cannot see them. If you can, try to photograph the device and document the area.

Next, call the police so that they can investigate the case. If you feel endangered in any way, leave the area and call the police.

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Conclusion

No one wants to find a hidden camera in their room. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you may think. It’s important to know what to do so that you can determine if a hidden camera is in your vicinity.

Hopefully, your room will be in the clear. If you find a hidden camera, leave the camera where it is, but try to document the area as extensively as possible. If you feel endangered in any way, leave immediately.


Featured Image Credit: Yevhen Prozhyrko, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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