Man peeking over a wooden table with surprised expression.

Hidden cameras, by their very nature, are hard to spot. If they weren't, they wouldn't be particularly useful. The trick with a successful monitoring campaign is to not raise the suspicions of the subject, so they dont go looking. Once a subject suspects their privacy has been breached, the next step is obviously going to be countersurveillance. So lets imagine for a moment that you suspect your privacy has been breached. Checking for hidden cameras in your home and place of work is the logical next step in your legitimate counter-surveillance activity.

Then think like an idiot

Only an idiot would go the effort of purchasing a spy camera only to blow their cover with obvious placement or sloppy installation. Rule this unlikely scenario out first by looking out for obvious new objects. Calculators, air fresheners, plug sockets and adapters are good at concealing cameras. Be suspicious of any of these objects that appear without obvious cause. It would take a special kind of idiot, too, to simply install a normal small camera somewhere in your home or office and then try to conceal it. But it does happen. Check between books, lamp shades, DVD players and any place where you'd hastily set up a camera if you wanted to secretly film yourself.

Think like a spy

If someone has managed to access your property or business to install a hidden camera, the chances are they know what they're doing. It's highly unlikely someone with the requisite skills to get inside your property would make a rookie error like putting a hidden camera in an obvious place. They'd also be unlikely to waste all that effort by putting the camera in a spot where it cant pick up your image. So the trick here is to think from the point of view of someone trying to spy on you. What are the best vantage points? Where would the camera be pointed? If there's a desk in the room or another point of interest like a workstation or specific chair, how would you get the best shot? Reverse engineering is the process of getting to the key vantage points.

Do a sweep

Cameras aren't as easy to detect as bugs because they dont emit radio signals. If you're still suspicious but cant find the evidence, it's time to tear down the room. Start at the top and work downward. Look at light fittings, air vents, architraves and picture rails first. Then look behind and inside pictures and posters. Remove the back of anything that has one.

Make surveillance difficult

Whether you've found the smoking gun or you've given the room the all-clear, the next step is to make it impossible for anyone to get a spy camera inside your property in future. Set up counter surveillance solutions like motion-activated video or CCTV, voice-activated voice recording and extra security. These wont necessarily prevent someone from installing a camera, but if you've got your counter-surveillance measures in place, you'll catch the culprit and immediately be alerted to wherever the camera has been installed.