While in an ideal world, a split from a partner would always end amicably and you’d both be able to move on with your lives, this doesn't always happen. Unfortunately, separating couples can often find themselves embroiled in bitter battles over property, money, custody and other divorce terms. Things can escalate quickly, and can even result in a situation where one party spies on the other in order to gather evidence to aid their prospects in the divorce case.

You may have decided that you will never resort to such behaviour, but can you be absolutely sure that your ex won't? If the thought has ever entered your head that your former spouse could be using technology to film, record or even track your movements, this is all it can take to make you feel really paranoid.

Have you good reason to suspect you're being spied on?

It’s easy to get carried away with the nagging feeling that someone is listening to your phone conversations or bugging your computer, and paranoia is by no means a healthy state of mind. However, in some cases, you may have very good reason to be suspicious. For example, when a piece of information is used by your former partner’s solicitors in your divorce case that they have no right or reason to know, such as something you mentioned on the phone to a friend or within a private email. The information may even relate to your location at a given day and time, which no one who hasn't’t kept a close eye on your movements would know.

Fight back with counter-surveillance technology

The good news for your peace of mind is that there are ways you can also use technology to fight back, in what is known as counter-surveillance. Even if you use this technology and find absolutely nothing to confirm your suspicions, at worst you’ll feel a little silly for being so paranoid and at best you'll be able to sleep more soundly at night. There are plenty of simple but effective devices you can use to sweep your home, workplace and even your car to ensure that no recording, spying, listening or tracking bugs are being used.

Tracking Screen

Home and workplace –checking for bugs

The first thing to do if you suspect your ex is spying on you is to make a list of all the most likely places where this could be happening, starting with your home and your workplace. Your home is the most likely option, so start there by taking the following steps:

  • Check if any objects have been moved (marks made in the dust is a good indicator)
  • Look for small holes in walls or furniture – you’re looking for tiny round pinholes where a lens could peep through
  • Turn all the lights off and go around the room with a flashlight to see if you can catch a reflection or glare on the lens of the camera
  • Look for a recording light (most spy cameras won't have this for obvious reasons, but some that aren't’t designed to be concealed might) and listen for sounds of the camera activating.

These are all manual ways you can check for obvious signs of surveillance, but the only effective way to be sure is to use a bug detection device. If you choose carefully and get one that excels in terms of sensitivity, detail and range, you can use it to locate any equipment that is transmitting. All cameras, recording and listening devices will transmit information somehow because that is the way that the person who put the devices there can access video or audio content.

A good detector can pick up these frequencies and point you in the direction of the transmitter, so you can root out the bug and get rid of it. These devices tend to be very simple to use, emitting an audio signal when transmission has been detected which grows louder the closer you get to the source. It is less likely that your workplace will have been bugged due to security systems and a large number of people around, but it could still be worth taking a look around your desk anyway. A bug detector may not be useful in this instance, however, as there are likely to be lots of transmitting devices around (i.e. your colleague's’ phones and computers).


Could your car be bugged?

As well as checking your home and workplace, it's also a good idea to use your bug detector to sweep your car for hidden devices. GPS car trackers emit signals too, and these can be detected by sensitive bug finders. You can also take a look inside and underneath your car for any suspicious-looking black boxes, or even innocuous-seeming objects like torches that have found their way into your boot and could be concealing trackers or recorders.

Protecting your smartphone and laptop

Last on your list but by no means the least important step, it's time to check your personal devices for bugs. The first thing to do is to check that no spyware software or other malicious apps are already installed. You can do this by using malware detection software or simply by checking on the list of installed programs or running applications and processes for anything that shouldn't be there. A service such as the professional deep root analysis and real-time protection offered by security specialists such as Online Spy Shop can also be helpful, as it involves checking your device as thoroughly as it is possible to check it.

Once your phone, tablet or laptop is clean, protect it in the future with some robust firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware software. Once you’'ve carried out all of these steps, you can be reasonably confident that your home, workplace, car and devices are bug-free. Released from the horrible feeling of paranoia, you can regain your peace of mind and get on with your life – leaving all unpleasantness with your ex behind.