How to find a hidden microphone

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to find a hidden microphone
Microphones are sometimes hidden under lampshades, making detection difficult. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Many signs indicate that a hidden microphone is in your office or home. One of the most telling is that your secrets are out. Hearing someone discuss something that is not public knowledge is a red flag. Other indicators are if a person expresses an opinion or statement that couldn't be made without knowing intimate details of your conversation or life, or the odd feeling that something is out-of-place or not right. A burglary without any damage or stolen property is also a telltale sign.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bug detection device

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  1. 1

    Search in inconspicuous areas, such as behind potted plants, picture frames, underneath lampshades, the brim of a hat, in pockets of out-of-season clothing, ceilings, light fixtures and anywhere else a small microphone could be hidden. Microphones are not arge -- some are smaller than a penny -- and are difficult to detect unless you are looking for them.

  2. 2

    Turn off any light sources in your home. Allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness and then scan the room for any tiny red or green beams of light.

  3. 3

    Switch on all the lights in your home and inspect all surfaces, such as baseboards or table rims, for any wires that you don't remember or that don't seem to connect to your electronics. Many microphones have wireless capabilities, so the absence of wires does not ensure there are no hidden microphones.

  4. 4

    Turn off any radios, televisions or other distracting noises in your home. Walk around each room and listen for clicking, buzzing or humming noises. Hidden microphones often emit quiet sounds while in operation.

  5. 5

    Purchase a bug detection device from a home security, spy shop or online retailer. The devices scan the room for microphones that are transmitting signals to an area other than your home. Some models indicate the signal strength with a bar graph that lets you know when you get closer to the microphone. Another type of bug detection device has audible beeps, indicating he presence of a microphone. Purchase a model with a silent alarm if you don't want anyone to know you're checking for microphones.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't allow paranoia to overtake your life. Unless you hold confidential information or are involved in some sort of court battle or investigation, the chances are slim that someone will plant a microphone to listen to your conversations.

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