What was previously only known from secret service thrillers and political crime novels has long since become a reality: tiny cameras, sometimes visible, sometimes not. The fact that video and photo technology has made great strides in recent years is often an advantage: especially on Smartphone people appreciate compact, high-performance cameras.
The collateral damage of this development: Even tiny cameras are now available inexpensively and are no longer only available to secret service agents or police officers – but also to voyeurs, peeping Toms and malicious actors.
The cases mentioned above are only those that become public. The number of unreported cases can only be guessed at. But now the good news: You are not defenseless against such espionage horrors; counter-surveillance technology is also making progress.
For relatively little money you can now get bug and camera detectors that promise reliable protection against voyeurs and other criminals. We introduce five reliable camera and bug detectors.
Small all-rounder: This portable bug detector reliably detects hidden cameras in hotel rooms or toilets. The device accepts radio signals with different sensitivity levels in the range from 1 MHz to 6.5 GHz, uses infrared technology to locate even small cameras and even has theft protection on board.
The device can be put into monitoring mode and attached to a door handle or bag, for example. As soon as the integrated motion sensor registers a vibration, a loud alarm sounds. The compact and inexpensive device fits easily into any luggage and lasts for almost two days in standby mode before it needs to be charged again.
Listening devices, bugs and cameras with or without cables: Menborn’s bug detector tackles several spy gadgets at the same time. With wireless RF detection, laser scanning and a magnetic field meter, the device finds signals in common radio networks and, according to the manufacturer, can even detect GPS trackers and ward off acoustic surveillance.
He can even use it to check microwave ovens for excessive emissions. The compact and robust gadget (aluminum housing) weighs 150 grams, lasts for 8 hours of continuous use and comes with detailed instructions – but operation is not particularly difficult even without instructions.
A fairly simple design and an admittedly somewhat cheap look in the plastic housing don’t stop this bug detector from meticulous detective work. The tool has four functions on board: A radio frequency detector detects active cameras, wireless audio bugs are registered, the tool looks for GPS trackers and, using laser infrared scanning, you can also make small pinhole cameras visible, even if they are currently inactive are.
We can choose from six sensitivity levels, an instruction video helps with operation and the very handy device only weighs 20 grams – so the plastic housing also has its advantages.
This bug finder also has four typical anti-spying functions on board. We use RF search to detect active camera signals, find wireless audio bugs, visually detect pinhole cameras by their rear-view reflection and track down GPS transmitters. With its aluminum housing, the gadget looks a little more valuable than comparable models and promises a longer service life.
However, the model is also significantly larger and, at around 180 grams, it also weighs noticeably more. Simple operation, well thought-out sensitivity levels and high reliability in detecting bugs and cameras make the gadget practical.
In addition to the almost unpronounceable name of the manufacturer, one thing stands out about this inexpensive bug detector: the device is extremely simple. A small display, two simple front buttons and two side controls – that’s all you can see about the gadget.
The operation is therefore commendably easy and all the important functions are on board. This digital spy fighter also finds camera signals, GPS devices, audio bugs and pinhole cameras through visual inspection. It’s barely bigger than a ballpoint pen and fits easily in your pocket.
Found camera? This is what you should do now
If you find a hidden camera in a public toilet, in a hotel room or even in your own home, then you should avoid trying to stop the perpetrator on your own – as tempting as that may be. First, create photo or video evidence of your find yourself; a smartphone is ideal for this.
You should then inform the police and let them investigate. If you have found spy technology in a rented accommodation, then it is best to inform the hotel operator or the relevant platform about it.
However, keep in mind that they may not be particularly keen to involve the authorities for reasons of damage control (damage to their image). However, the secret surveillance of others is punishable (not only in Germany) and represents a serious crime.