If you’re worried about being covertly filmed or recorded, you might not be being paranoid. According to the New York Times, security experts are warning that we’re in the middle of a “bugging epidemic”. As spy equipment has become cheaper, smaller, and more readily available, it’s easier than ever for hackers to invade your privacy.
The consumer surveillance camera in the US alone is worth billions, but not all purchased equipment is being used for home security. Stories always pop up in the news covering unusual locations that have been ‘bugged’ – from changing rooms and tanning salons to offices and meeting spaces.
Fighting back with bug detectors
The good news is that as surveillance equipment has become more sophisticated, there’s also been a corresponding growth in counter-surveillance tech. Consumers can now buy relatively affordable pocket-size bug detectors. With these handy gadgets, you can sweep a room for electronic signals in just a few minutes.
In certain circumstances, it’s smart to take precautions against unwanted surveillance. In others, it can just make you feel better. So, if you have a handheld bug detector, you can take it with you everywhere for instant peace of mind.
Where to use a bug detector
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Bug detectors aren’t just for thriller movies. They can actually be a useful precaution in all kinds of situations, including:
1. Hotel rooms and holiday rentals
You’re likely to have seen at least one story in the press relating to a spy device hidden in a hotel or holiday rental. There are countless stories like these where unsuspecting holidaymakers accidentally discover a camera hidden in their holiday property.
Unfortunately, it does happen – especially with private holiday rentals. The best way to be 100% sure you’re not being watched is to take your bug detector on holiday with you; then you can relax.
2. Changing rooms
It’s unpleasant to think of but unfortunately, it does happen. Changing rooms in gyms, swimming pools, leisure centers, and even clothes stores are often targeted by voyeurs. Turn on your bug detector before getting changed and you can strip it off in confidence.
3. Office and meeting space
Have a critical meeting coming up, where sensitive or high-level information will be discussed? In this situation, it’s absolutely essential to secure the room against listening devices, cameras and audio recording bugs.
4. Exam halls
Bug detectors also have another unexpected use. They’re fantastic at sniffing out unauthorized mobile phone use, making them the perfect choice for enforcing exam conditions in educational environments.
How to sweep a room for bugs
Ready to root out those spy cameras? Here’s a quick guide to sweeping a room for hidden bugs:
● Do a visual check first, checking for inexplicable pin-holes or items that have been moved
● Turn the lights off and check for tell-tale red lights
● Turn off all wireless devices and use a big radiofrequency detector to sweep the room – move around slowly and methodically
● Don’t forget to sweep your bag and belongings for GPS trackers
● Use an app on your phone to check what devices are connected to your Wi-fi network.