Hidden spy cameras and listening devices in your office or home can be discovered if you understand how to sweep for bugs. These eavesdropping devices can provide your competitors or enemies with confidential, private information that can cause serious damage. Sweeping for bugs can be difficult if you are not an expert in counter-surveillance techniques. If you are particularly vulnerable to being spied upon you should always seek out an experienced professional to sweep for bugs.
What Can I Do To Sweep For Bugs
Even though you may not be an expert, there are a number of steps that you can take, and warning signs to be aware of, prior to hiring professional bug sweep services.
1) Be aware of individuals that seem to have information which should be confidential. If competitors, adversaries or employees have knowledge of private information you should consider how they might have obtained such information
2) Watch for unauthorized or unrequested visits from technicians checking phone lines, computers, HVAC or other equipment, exterminators, inspectors, etc. Buggers will frequently use this type of ploy to gain access to your premises to install bugging devices.
3) Be wary of gifts received from anyone you don’t know well, or received under suspicious circumstances. Gifts can easily be disguised to contain spy cameras or listening devices. Have the items checked by a technical surveillance countermeasures expert who can sweep them for bugs before bringing them into an area where private conversations occur.
4) Watch out for suspicious vehicle activity at your office, near your home, or while driving. Service trucks, vans, vehicles with tinted windows and panel trucks can allow a person to sit and monitor listening devices without raising suspicion. Vehicles that remain for many hours or vehicles that appear repeatedly should be considered suspect.
5) Listen for unusual noises on your phone lines. Clicks, pops, scratching noises, volume changes or echoes can be a sign that listening devices may be installed. If your phone makes noises while being on the hook, there is a great probability that a bugging device is present. Interference with radios and televisions can also indicate the presence of transmitters nearby. If your radio makes squealing noises, move the radio around the room to see if the noise gets louder or changes pitch. This can be caused by feedback from a listening device
6) A sweep for bugs will always include a thorough physical inspection of the room for anything that seems out of place. Items such as wall switches, light fixtures, smoke alarms, clocks, exit signs, outlet plates, etc should be carefully examined it see if they appear new or jarred out of place. Examine all such items for tiny holes. Be aware of furniture, pictures and decor that may be out of place or askew. Intruders installing listening devices are often unable to replace things in exactly the same location, so being aware of your surroundings may help you detect if something has been changed.
7) Closely examine floors, tables and furniture for unusual debris. Installing bugging devices often requires moving ceiling tiles, or drilling small holes in walls or ceilings, which can leave behind a small amount of dust, powder or shavings. Check and replace ceiling tiles that are chipped, cracked or broken so you will be able to tell if they are tampered with. Often times you can tell by the natural discoloration of ceiling tiles whether it has been moved recently.
8) If you deal with sensitive information on a regular basis you should have a technical surveillance countermeasures expert sweep for bugs on a regular basis. You should also contact a TSCM expert sweep for bugs whenever you suspect that there may be a problem. You need to be vigilant to detect bugs on your premises before information thieves can obtain information that can destroy your business or personal life.
How Often Should I Sweep For Bugs?
How often you should sweep for bugs varies greatly depending on each individual case. A number of factors must be considered in order to determine your possible exposure and potential loss if certain information were to become available to the public, competitors or adversaries. You should consult with a counter surveillance professional who can help you evaluate all the risks and benefits to insure that your information remains private.