What type of equipment does a spy use?
Spies use a variety of equipment; some are available to purchase on the commercial market, while the restricted professional equipment is available to law enforcement and governments, including:
- Communication devices: These can include encrypted smartphones, radios, laptops, and tablets with secure messaging software.
- Surveillance equipment: Spies may use hidden cameras in the form of Wi-Fi, GSM, UHF and some cases, electricity carrier-type cameras, GPS tracking devices, and RF (radio frequency) bug detectors to monitor their targets.
- Disguise tools: Wigs, makeup, and props can alter a person's appearance and help them blend in with their surroundings. It's not uncommon for professionals to take advantage of realistic artificial prosthetics to change the tones and shapes of their faces.
- Self-defence weapons: Small, easily concealable weapons may be used when cornered in a situation where flight is not an option. Pepper spray and stun guns can be used for self-protection.
- Technical spy gadgets: Spies have access to handheld devices such as code-breaking machines, lock-picking tools, and biometric devices to access secure locations.
- Concealed devices: Spies may use pens, key fobs, a coffee cup spy camera, buttons, and smartphones to conceal tiny cameras, microphones, or memory cards.
- Night vision monoculars: These can be used to see in low-light and pitch-dark conditions and conduct observational surveillance at night.
How do I find Hidden Spying Devices?
The following steps can help you to detect hidden spy devices:
- Use a bug detector: An RF detector can detect radio low-frequency and high-frequency signals from hidden cameras and other wireless devices. These devices vary in price depending on factors, including the material the detector is made from, the frequency range and the level of detail shown on the LCD.
- RF bug detectors are available for purchase from our counter surveillance category for clients looking to elevate their privacy.
- Conduct a physical search: You can look for hidden cameras and microphones by physically searching for tiny holes or suspicious wires. You can also use a flashlight or the camera flash on your phone to look for lenses reflecting light. While technology helps aid the success in finding such devices, 99% of bugs can be found through a physical search.
- Check your network: If you suspect that someone has installed spyware on your computer, you can check your network using a variety of off-the-shelf tools to see if there is any suspicious activity. It would help if you also considered installing anti-malware software to scan your computer for spyware.
- Look for unusual behaviour in electronic devices: If you suspect that your smartphone has been tampered with, look for signs such as the device turning on or off by itself, the battery running down faster than usual, or the device behaving in unexpected ways. Perform a factory reset if suspicious.
What should I do if I find surveillance equipment on my property?
If you have discovered surveillance equipment in your vehicle or property, here are some steps you can take:
- Remain calm: It's important to approach the situation with a clear head and not let your emotions get the best of you.
- Do not remove equipment: if you have found a device, document the evidence by taking snapshots and making a detailed record of your findings. This can be useful if you decide to take legal action later.
- Seek legal advice: If you believe that equipment has been installed illegally and your rights have been violated, consider seeking advice from a legal professional specialising in privacy law before contacting the police. They can best advise you on your rights and the steps you can take to seek justice.
- Protect your privacy: If you believe your privacy has been violated, take steps to secure your electronic devices and communications. Always use encryption, subscribe to a reputable password manager, and never click on links or attachments you receive in unsolicited emails. They could be malicious, infect your device with malware and/or steal sensitive information. Always be cautious of unsolicited emails and phone calls.
- Remember - Safeguard your information by never giving out personal data if you don’t know the sender of a text or email or can’t verify their identity. Criminals only need your name, email address and telephone number to rip you off.
Note: Using surveillance equipment can be complex and sensitive, and the laws surrounding it can vary by jurisdiction. If you have any concerns or questions, it's always best to seek professional advice.