How to Block a Listening Device or Camera Hidden in Your Home

By Jessica Kolifrath
Hidden cameras are not as easy to spot as open surveillance cameras.
Hemera Technologies/ Images

Modern technological advances have led to the development of cameras so small that a spouse or boss can hide them practically anywhere. The same is true of microphones, many of which are sensitive enough to pick up a conversation in another room. Hidden cameras and microphones are a violation of your privacy if you are not aware of them. While there are many expensive and untested devices claiming to disable this equipment, there are a few simple things anyone can start with to protect their privacy at home or at work.

Detect the placement and the number of the hidden recording devices. Most methods for blocking these units requires you to target them directly. Use an electronic bug sweeper or manual methods to detect camera lenses.

Identify and remove items likely to contain a camera or microphone. If someone has recently given you a new houseplant, stuffed animal or lamp, it may contain a hidden camera, according to Unified Solutions. Replace phones making unusual hissing or clicking noises with brand new units directly from a retailer.

Manually disable or cover cameras built into your devices. Cameras in laptops, smart phones and other handheld devices are susceptible to outside control through viruses and tampering, warns computer programmer Marc Roessler.

Cover or muffle the device. Move a potted plant to block a camera lens or cover a microphone with a wadded up rag to disrupt the recording. Remove it if you can, but in some cases covering it allows you time to gather evidence without alerting the person who installed the device.

Use a white noise generator. Play the radio loudly when having a private conversation on a tested and secure phone line. Security companies produce a number of white noise machines designed to transmit frequencies at a lower volume that affect the microphone, but still allow you to sleep without disruption.

Shine a basic red laser pointer directly at the lens of a hidden camera. The lens will reflect and magnify the beam, distorting what the camera records without damaging it permanently, according to video expert Mark Naimark.