What Do Nanny Cameras Look Like: Facts You Need to Know
Nanny cameras are video surveillance systems.
They're usually cheap and can be set up in any corner of the house to monitor ongoing activities.
Most nanny cameras are hidden or inconspicuous because they're used to monitor caregivers, children, the elderly, and strangers.
They give parents peace of mind and ensure that they can detect any untoward activity or behavior, but what if you're at the receiving end of the surveillance?
What if you've been asking, "What do nanny cameras look like?"
Perhaps you'd like to know if an in-house surveillance system has been spying on you.
We'll show you how to detect a hidden cam.
What Do Nanny Cameras Look Like?
Nanny cameras come in different shapes and sizes. They can be rectangular, round, or square.
Since their purpose is to discreetly record activities, hidden house cams could look like household objects. Homeowners could even embed them in furniture.
You can find nanny cams in the following places:
- House plants
- Tissue boxes
- Power strips
- Paintings and wall decorations
- Stuffed toys and animals, like teddy bears
- Night lights
- Smoke detectors
- Clothes hooks
- Air filter
- Holes in the wall
- DVD and video game cases
- Wall sockets
- Couch cushions
- Laptops, desktops, and computer accessories
- Flash drives
- Power banks
Does this mean you can't identify hidden in-house cams?
No. Although their shapes and sizes differ, all nanny cameras have a lens for videoing, and it has to be visible to fulfill its purpose.
Different Types of Nanny Cams
It's vital to know the various types of nanny cams.
This knowledge will help you detect any camera that's been monitoring you.
Although employers can place hidden cameras in all kinds of objects, there are three basic types:
1. Wired Camera
A wired nanny camera transfers its video feed to a viewing or recording device through a wire.
Besides its power cable, it has a cord that transmits video to a VCR, TV, or DVR unit.
The cam usually looks like or is embedded in a household object.
However, you might find this kind of camera easier to detect if an amateur installed it.
A wire which protrudes from a stuffed toy and connects to another object is a visible sign.
Wired nanny cams have also become less common because wireless technology is cheaper, more advanced, and more subtle.
2. Wireless Camera
Wireless here doesn't mean the camera has no wire. It means the camera doesn't have a cable connected to a receiver.
It could have a cable connected to the power supply since battery-powered cameras record for a shorter time.
Wireless nanny cams can stream videos to various places.
Such places could be a receiving unit that's 500 feet away from the camera or a VCR hidden inside a household object.
Sometimes, the cam sends the video to a receiver attached to a computer or a router.
With this option, the homeowner can stream the video over the internet and view it at home, in the office, or on different PCs.
3. Self-Recording Camera
Self-recording nanny cameras don't transfer the video to another device because they've got in-built storage to store the recording.
This type of hidden cam is easy to use since there's no need to connect a receiver.
You can watch the video feed on your TV or insert the memory card into your device.
Self-recording cams are usually more expensive and aren't as easily detectable as the wired nanny cameras.
Six Ways to Detect a Nanny Camera
If you've suspected hidden cameras spying on you, yet there's been no visible sign of any, there're a few ways to find out for sure.
It would take a little investigation, and it might be difficult, but it's not impossible.
1. Check Potential Rooms
Where will the homeowner most likely place a hidden camera?
If you're babysitting, that would be the baby's room or the sitting room.
You'll find nanny cams where you spend most of the time, so consider potential locations and check there.
When you enter the room, think from the perspective of someone who wants to monitor activities.
What's the best place to get the widest angle?
Is it on the ceiling or close to the corner of the wall?
Where can you comfortably record without suspicion?
Search for hidden cams there.
You can also walk through the rooms and listen carefully.
Most motion sensor cameras emit an almost inaudible buzz when they're on; their motors hum.
You might hear buzzes and low-noise clicks coming from them.
2. Examine Household Objects
Since household objects are popular locations for nanny cameras, it would be wise to examine them.
Homeowners can place cameras disguised as tissue boxes anywhere, but they can't do the same with wall decorations and mirrors.
Check for a household object placed in an odd location, height, or angle. A surveillance cam could be in it.
Check the kids' toys or stationary objects like tables, shelves, and wardrobes.
Objects that have malfunctioned are also great places for hidden cameras.
Faulty smoke detectors and equipment are perfect places to install surveillance equipment, as well.
You can also check if a mirror is two-way since it's easier to embed a camera when one side is see-through, and the other's a regular mirror.
If you place your fingernail on a mirror and there's space between your nail and its reflection, the mirror's normal.
If, however, your fingernail and its image are touching tip to tip, the mirror's two-way.
Sometimes, your employer installs the nanny cam after you've started working in the house.
Did a new toy suddenly appear in the room?
Did the owner change the wall decorations or rearrange them?
Did an object suddenly appear on the table or shelf?
There could be a hidden camera in the room.
3. Check for Wires
Most cameras need one or two cables.
Yes, there're battery-powered wireless cams, but if that's what the homeowner uses, the cams will need charging once in a while, and you just might see them connected to a power socket.
Once the camera doesn't run on a battery, there will be at least one wire that connects it to a power supply.
Are there stuffed toys with cords coming out their backs?
Are there hidden equipment, additional power outlets, or hanging wires?
There might be hidden cameras nearby.
4. Check for Lights
Most night vision cameras have a red or green LED that shows they're on.
These lights usually blink or shine in the dark.
The LED turns on automatically in low-light conditions to enable the camera to record clear images.
To find this kind of cam, wait till it's dark outside.
It could be at night, or if the room has thick blinds, close them.
- Turn off all lights to plunge the room into darkness.
- Look around the room.
- Check the furniture and the walls.
- If there's a light on an electronic you turned off; it could be a cam light.
Also, you can slowly pan a flashlight across the room.
Check suspicious locations and objects from different angles.
A camera lens has glass material, and the light will reflect on it.
If there's a reflective light, you might have found the hidden cam.
5. Use Your Phone
To detect a nanny cam with the help of your phone, here are the things you can do:
- Make a Phone Call
Wireless cameras emit a radio signal when they're on.
This frequency could interfere with your phone call signal.
To find out if there's a nanny cam nearby, call a friend or family and then walk around the room while making the call.
If you notice signal interference like crackling, buzzing, or clicking, there could be surveillance equipment nearby.
Search that area carefully to see if you'll discover a hidden camera.
- Use a Mobile App
There are various mobile apps on Google Play Store and Apple Store that can detect hidden cameras.
Download and install a good one on your phone, and then launch the app and walk around the room with your phone.
The software will glow red or beep when it detects a nanny cam.
This method isn't foolproof, though, because the app is detecting a radio frequency.
If there are any other electronics or equipment emitting radio signals, it could identify them as hidden cameras.
- Use Your Phone Camera
The human eyes can't see infrared light without aid, but electronics like nanny cams use it to communicate to the receiver.
Your cell phone camera is more sensitive to light than your eyes.
You can use the front cam to identify infrared light. Most phone rear cameras have infrared filters, so they might not detect IR light.
Here's what you need to do:
- Open your phone's camera app and switch to the front cam.
- Check if it can detect infrared light by pointing a remote control at the phone's camera and pressing any button on the remote.
- In your phone's video feed, you should see a flashing light coming from the remote control.
- Turn off all the lights in the room and unplug all power sources, including night lights or lamps.
- To scan for infrared light, hold the phone at an elevated angle and rotate on the spot.
- If you noticed a flashing light coming from an area, there could be a nanny cam there.
- Search that area to verify your suspicion.
6. Use an RF Signal Detector
If, after trying out the other methods, you couldn't find a nanny camera, get a radio frequency signal detector (RFSD).
This method is the fastest and most professional.
RFSDs detect the radio frequencies emitted by wireless cameras, but they only work within a close, limited range.
Start by unplugging any device that emits radio signals, including electronics, kitchen appliances, gaming consoles, and routers.
Walk around the room with the signal detector on.
If you hear a beeping or crackling sound on the RFSD, there's probably a hidden cam nearby.
Note that you'll have to scan through different frequencies before you find the signal the surveillance equipment uses.
If the nanny cam rapidly uses different frequencies, the RFSD might not detect it.
Lots of people ask, "What do nanny cameras look like?", and this question stems from the fact that nanny cams have diverse shapes and sizes.
Unlike CCTV cameras that are visible and easy to detect, they're the exact opposite.
They're not easily noticed and can be embedded in any object or disguised as a household item, but that shouldn't deter you.
Now that you know the different types of hidden cameras and how to detect them, it's easier to verify if your employer is keeping track of your activities.
You can scan rooms and be alert when suspicious surveillance activities occur.
You can also check household objects and additional power outlets or wires.
If that doesn't yield results, search for LED lights, infrared lights, and radio frequencies.
There are a variety of ways to check: physically, through your phone, or by using an RF signal detector.
So, what if after your search, you find that there's a hidden cam watching you?
How would you handle it?
It depends on who installed the camera and where it is.
In some places, nanny cameras are legal.
Your employer can install hidden surveillance equipment, and they don't have to tell you about it.
If you're a caretaker, you might have to live with the knowledge of being watched and be more careful of how you act.
On the contrary, if the nanny cam's in an area that breaches your privacy, like the toilet, it's illegal.
You can report it to the authorities.