Are You Being Spied On?
How do you know when someone really is out to “get you?” How much do you trust your instincts when they whisper that someone has eyes and ears on your every move?
Private security firms do a healthy business investigating suspicions of covert surveillance, and it isn’t always law enforcement, shadowy federal agencies, or even other private investigators doing the spying. Conspiracies to commit fraud, suspicions of a loved one’s dishonesty, and even simple voyeuristic entertainment at a complete stranger’s expense have all motivated people to invade others’ privacy for personal gain.
Knowing that anybody anywhere at any time could be watching you when you wouldn’t begin to suspect it, the question becomes more vital than ever: how do you know if someone is spying on you?
Audio & Video Bugs Can Hide In The Smallest Openings
Developers have successfully engineered most modern surveillance devices so that an average person with no insight into their designs would have no idea how to spot them with a naked eye. Wireless hidden cameras and listening devices as tiny as a shirt’s buttonhole blend as seamlessly into a vent or light fixture as otherwise functional pens, cellphone chargers, and bathroom fixtures. From there, a device no bigger than a golf pencil can transmit audio and video feeds to receivers thousands of feet away with their subjects none the wiser.
The Cost Of Catching Bugs Spying On You
The best professional hidden spy hardware is seemingly impossibly small. It also happens to be wireless. It can broadcast a crystal-clear HD feed across a shockingly extensive range, all while hidden inside perfectly innocent-looking objects. How do the people who plant them ever get caught at all?
More often than not, private citizens and businesses call on professionals with deep insights into spycraft and its modern technological assets. Not to riff too hard on Liam Neeson, but they possess a very particular set of skills acquired often over very long careers. Between an uncommon knowledge base and mounting public fears of unwanted surveillance, professional investigators can easily earn a living charging thousands of dollars to sweep an entire premises for trackers, hidden cameras, listening devices, and planted 3G/4G smartphones.
It isn’t demand alone that justifies the hefty rates. A professional sweeper may employ an equipment kit costing over $100,000 to guarantee that no known spy tech slips through a technical crack.
When To Suspect Someone May Be Spying On You
Handling suspicion appropriately starts with noting anything that seems out-of-place or just a bit “off.” A broken fixture that you’ve never noticed before in your home may be an unfortunate (but ordinary) fracture, or it may be a camera’s insertion point. If you find yourself in a new environment with several smoke or motion detectors in a small space or wall plates that don’t serve any clear purpose, make a mental note. Flexible ceiling tiles can be especially concerning to sweepers; it’s nothing to hide a flexible fiberoptic camera right inside a single piece.
It also pays to periodically survey the Wi-Fi signals your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other devices detect. A previously unknown network that suddenly shows up in these lists with a strong signal inside your home or office could be the dedicated channel through which wireless spy hardware transmit their feeds. In fact, pencil in time once or twice each week to check the operating speed of any devices connected to the Internet, skim your browser history, and scan for viruses or malware. If your computer is running unusually slowly, you spot websites you know you haven’t visited, or you don’t recognize certain running programs, you may have already been hacked.
By the same logic, investigate any electronic device that seems to still draw power when turned off. Listening bugs and cameras embedded inside objects such as lamps and Blu-ray or DVD players often siphon power off their disguises in order to operate.
Finally, a word about being physically followed: don’t dismiss the mundane. If anyone should choose to tail you, they will stick to a vehicle that blends into its surroundings – hence, the stereotypical black sport utility vehicles and vans. They’re ubiquitous enough to look at-home in any setting, yet spacious enough to accommodate surveillance equipment. Be especially careful if a vehicle seems to change directions and come back behind you or runs a red light when you cross an intersection at a yellow signal. Scan AM radio bands with an ear open for any unusual tones.
Once you can stop, check your car for tracking devices thoroughly. Then consider changing your everyday travel routes.
Here’s the good news: nobody really has to choose between vulnerable privacy and being priced out of thorough counter-surveillance. Every year, anti-spy hardware developers make more professional-grade equipment available to average citizens at increasingly affordable prices. As a result, devices such as a versatile credit card-size bug detector and the P.I. Audio and Counter Surveillance Pro Package ranging respectively from just $250 up to around $2,000 allow concerned consumers to conduct their own device sweeps as needed. At prices such as these, this hardware pays for itself in a matter of one to two sweeps, simply by helping you avoid multiple professional checks costing upward of several thousand dollars per visit.