How To Spot A Nanny Cam

how to spot a nanny cam

Nanny cams are legal in every state. To make matters even worse for your privacy, homeowners do not have to tell you about any nanny or surveillance cams they have around their house. 

Small and easy to hide, nanny cams can be placed in just about any household object. Many are wireless and emit no light, so it can be tough to track them down without a careful search of the whole house. 

To protect your privacy and peace of mind, there are a few easy steps you can take to spot nanny cams. Although there’s no guarantee that you’ve found any nanny cams, a thorough search can give you more confidence that your privacy is safe. 

Also keep in mind that you can always ask homeowners about any cameras they have. Although some will choose to lie to you, others will fess up, since they know you’ll be searching for cams. 

Here’s how to spot a nanny cam around the house. 

How To Detect A Nanny Cam

What Does A Nanny Cam Look Like

smoke detector with hidden camera

Nanny cams are designed to be hard to detect. That means they come in all shapes and sizes, disguised as household objects and toys. 

The camera itself is often the size of a pinhole, making it tough to detect by eye without careful inspection. 

Some nanny cables will have power and transmission cords that run out of the back of the device. Although small, these cables are pretty easy to spot if not concealed well. 

Other nanny cams will use tiny batteries and remote transmitters to cut the cord and make them harder to detect. 

Look out for these common objects when searching for nanny cams:

  • Toys and stuffed animals
  • Clocks
  • USB drives
  • Smoke detectors
  • Radios

Homeowners can get pretty creative with where they place a nanny cam, so pretty much any object around the house is fair game. 

Look For Out Of Place Objects

We’ve all probably heard of the teddy bear with a camera for an eye. Keep an eye out for objects that seem out of place around the room, as this is a common giveaway for nanny cams. 

If you notice an object that is placed in a position that gives it a great view of the room, check it out for cams. 

You should also keep an eye out for toys that are placed in odd places. Stuffed animals usually aren’t kept in a prominent position on a table in the living room

Also, look for any new objects that pop up out of nowhere. If you notice a second clock sitting on the mantle in the living room, or a teddy bear that the kid didn’t have before, there could be a cam hidden inside the object. 

Look For Cables

What one of the biggest giveaways of nanny cams is cables. Most homeowners who use nanny cams aren’t spies, so they get sloppy when they place the camera, leaving a cable trail that leads you to the device. 

Look for any cables coming out of regular household objects. Spot a cord running out of a bookcase with no electronics? That could be a sign that the homeowner is up to no good. 

Also check to see if there are any mismatched or extra cables coming out of electronics, as this could indicate that they’ve hidden a nanny cam inside. 

Keep in mind that not all nanny cams will have cables. If they don’t, the homeowner will have to change the batteries eventually, so keep tabs on them if they come into your room without permission, or if you notice objects getting moved around. 

Look For Lights

Although nanny cams are designed to be discreet, many will have small lights that come on when they are recording. 

Keep an eye out for any small green or red dots in the room. These will be much easier to see if the lights are off and there is no sunlight in the room. 

People will sometimes hide nanny cams in electronics so that the light looks less suspicious. Turn off any electronics in the room and see if there are any green lights. 

Also, keep an eye out for any nanny cams that are hidden in smoke detectors. These are a great hiding place, as they are always on and have small green and red lights. 

You can remove the smoke detector or take the batteries out to see if the light stays on. Just make sure you don’t set off a real detector as you search for a nanny cam. 

Not all nanny cams will have lights, so you should still continue to search if you don’t find any. 

Turn Off The Lights To Look For Night Vision Cameras

spot a night vision camera
Night vision LED’s emit some visible light

Night vision cameras can give themselves away when you turn off the lights. To check for night vision nanny cams, wait until it’s dark outside and turn off all of the lights in the room. 

Depending on the type of IR LED (the light source used to illuminate the room for the camera) used, you may be able to spot a dim red glow coming from the LED’s them self.

Many night vision cams will have a small green or red light that indicates that they’re running. These lights often start to blink when the lights go out. 

Use An RF Detector

If you’ve searched the house thoroughly and haven’t found a nanny cam, you still have a few options. 

Wireless nanny cams can be tough to detect, especially if they don’t have any lights. But they do emit a radio frequency to transmit data to a receiver. 

You can use a radio frequency detector to track down wireless nanny cams. These devices will start to beep when they get close to the source of a radio signal. 

To use an RF detector, you’ll have to carefully inspect the room. If there is a camera in the room, the homeowner will be able to see you looking for it, as RF detectors aren’t easy to hide. 

Ask The Question

Sometimes, it’s best to be straight up. If you’ve searched through a house and are still worried about your privacy, you can ask the owner if there are any cameras around. 

Of course, not all snoopy homeowners will be honest about any nanny cams they have around the house. But your suspicion could make some people fess up, since they know you’ll be looking for cams.  

Asking directly can also prevent any accidental monitoring. Although unlikely, some homeowners may forget about cams they have running to monitor their baby. 

Keep in mind that a homeowner is not legally required to tell you if they have a nanny cam in the house. Even if you think you’ve found a cam, they can deny it without any legal repercussions. 

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