How to Detect Listening Devices

Are you being bugged? In most states, listening devices are allowed in a variety of situations, particularly in private homes. If you suspect your conversations may be listened to without your knowledge, it’s your right to do your best to detect hidden listening technology. 

But how?

Visual Inspections for Listening Devices

All listening devices have to have a power source, either hard-wired or battery. In most cases, you’ll find the battery before you find the bug. Follow any strange wires to their origin and look for metal that seems out of place. If you see any electronic device that seems tampered with such as a spliced telephone line, replace it immediately. 

Remember that eavesdropping devices won’t necessarily look like tape recorders. They can be disguised as common household items like USB drives or teddy bears! In some cases, listening devices go hand-in-hand with hidden video cameras. Keep your eyes peeled for a small, dime-sized lens to track one of these down. 

Technology That Detects Listening Devices

If a visual inspection has turned up short, you may want to resort to something more high tech. There are hundreds of great electronic bug detectors out there, many of which can pick up everything from radio frequencies to WiFi transmissions.

Since cell phones are one of the most commonly bugged devices, having a cell phone bug detector is a good way to ensure yours hasn’t been compromised. It can alert you to unauthorized data usage and give you instant transmission notifications. If you suspect it’s your car being watched or monitored, try a combo GPS/listening device bug detector that can pick up a variety of signals.

Use Your Ears and Trust Your Gut

If all else fails, use your sense of hearing to listen around the area for listening transmissions. In some cases of extremely amateur radio transmitters, a very slight “buzz” can be heard where the bug is placed. Using a police scanner is another way to stumble upon the frequency you’re being listened in on.

The best defense you have against listening devices is your gut. If your instinct is telling you someone is listening to your conversations, be vigilant! Whether you’re embroiled in a custody dispute, employed in someone’s private home, or involved in an undercover relationship, there are plenty of reasons to suspect you might be monitored.