We all demand privacy in certain aspects of our lives. In as much as the government can access information (text, calls, face-to-face conversations), we still want our lives private and hidden from the eyes of the public.
Some devices are used to invade the privacy of individuals. A listening device is one such device. Therefore, how can I tell if my neighbour has a listening device?
The best way to find out if your neighbour has a listening device is to carry out a background check on your neighbour to know past and history, try out a little trick on your neighbour to satisfy your curiosity, and install anti-spyware.
What is a Listening Device?
A listening device is basically an electronic device that is hidden with the intention of eavesdropping on conversations.
In some quarters, these devices are called wires and bugging devices. Listening devices are known as wiretaps or intercepts when used on telephone lines. Listening devices can be used to transmit live audio or record the audio.
Listening devices are referred to as bugs. Bugging, which is the use of listening devices is a technique used in espionage, surveillance, and investigations.
Remember those American movies you watched in the past? Yes, those devices used to spy on people from a distance and listen to their conversations are called listening devices.
Merriam-Webster defines a listening device as a little concealed microphone for the purpose of SECRETLY listening and recording people’s conversations. It should be noted that the device is used secretly. Oftentimes, the person whose conversation is being bugged has no idea about it.
Nowadays, listening devices transmit on the Global System of Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) but transmission can also be done via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.
How Can I Tell if My Neighbour has a Listening Device?
It’s important to carry out research on your neighborhood before moving in. As uncommon as it is, it is not impossible that your neighbour is eavesdropping on your conversations.
It has happened to a lot of people in the past. We’ll show you how you can tell when your neighbour is eavesdropping on your conversations.
1. Carry Out a Background Check on your Neighbour
One of the simplest ways to know if your neighbour is in possession of a listening device is to carry out a background check on them. The moment you are sure they’re trustworthy, you will have nothing to worry about.
However, there are websites where you can run background checks on people. The information provided in the website will include:
- School records
- Internet activities
- Government records such as criminal history, driving records, and so on
- Credit records
2. Trick your Neighbours to Satisfy your Curiosity
Provided you have reasons to believe you are bugged and invaded, another step you can take is to trick your neighbour.
Arrange a fake phone conversation with a friend and consistently say untrue information. If you talk regularly with your neighbour, you might see that such information you provided will be repeated back to you.
That is an indication that your neighbour has a listening device. However, this might not work if you do not converse with your neighbour regularly.
However, there are many other ways by which you can do this. Just find one that is suitable for you and employ the. Also, while using this method, be careful so you don’t hurt your neighbour or get sued.
3. Install Anti-spyware
If you still suspect that your neighbor is spying on you, or you find some criminal history of your neighbor after running background checks, your will need to get some devices to detect a listening device.
In this case, a bug detector can help. Get a bug detector in your apartment. Perform a sweep of your house regularly to detect if there are any hidden devices there. A bug detector with a range of radiofrequency will do the job well.
Also, you can make use of cameras in your house. Conceal the cameras well to make sure they are undetected. It will help to capture break-ins in your house and unwelcomed guests.
There are also apps that can detect bugs(hidden cameras and microphones). Download them and make use of them appropriately.
Is it Legal for a Neighbour to have a Listening Device?
No, it is illegal for your neighbour to be in possession of a listening device. Using a bug to listen to your conversations is an invasion of your privacy. If you confirm that your neighbor has a listening device, you should report to the authorities to take it further.
Types of Listening Devices
A simple Google search on listening devices will provide several items such as pens, air fresheners, chargers, speakers, USB drives, the list goes on and on.
As stated earlier, some listening devices record conversations while some transmit the conversations. Listening devices vary according to use, but there are three main types based on deployment:
Leave and Retrieve Listening Devices
These listening devices are usually small devices used to record conversations for later use. They are not used for simultaneous transmission.
The modality involved in this is that these devices are usually concealed and placed in hidden locations. Sometimes, these devices are disguised as other items such as pens, cups, combs, books, etc. but they are battery-powered.
A particular feature of these devices is that they are constrained by power and solid-state memory.
Plug and Play Listening Devices
From the name, you can easily tell how these devices are used. They are usually plugged into a power source and left to transmit conversations.
Transmission is usually done on a certain frequency as the receiving device. This device can be a mobile phone or a recorder of some sort.
Since they are plugged into a power source to work, these devices do not rely on batteries to provide power.
Hard-wired listening devices are usually embedded into electronic devices for use. Electronic devices such as televisions, radio sets, decoders, computers, etc. These electronic devices provide power to the listening devices. Hard-wired listening devices are very difficult to detect.
Bugging professionals prefer to make use of this type of listening device. Installation takes longer and one must have knowledge of the electronic device you want to embed them into. These listening devices provide the best results though.
Can I Sue my Neighbour for having a Listening Device?
Yes! If you discover your neighbor has been eavesdropping on your conversations, you can sue them because they have infringed on your fundamental rights to privacy. Always involve the authorities when confronting a neighbour.
Neighbors do not have any right to use listening devices within your vicinity. Only law or code enforcement agencies have the right to spy and listen to conversations (with a warrant and when necessary).
Can a Listening Device be Detected?
If you’re worried about being bugged in your home, office, or wherever, there are ways to detect those hidden devices. You can get the services of a professional if you’ve tried these methods and you’re not satisfied.
- Make use of your senses (Eyes and Ears) to observe your environment constantly.
- Check your electronic devices. If they can be shaken, shake them to feel for loose wires of objects inside them.
- Make use of bug detectors. Use these scanners to meticulously scan for bugs planted in your home.
- Install phone apps that detect hidden listening devices.
Detecting a listening device can be done effectively by repeating the search from time to time. Even if you find no listening device in your previous search, still scan your house thoroughly the next time.
What Does a Hidden Listening Device Look Like?
To discover hidden listening devices, look out for holes in certain parts of your house. Look out for circular holes in your walls, ceilings, tables, or any smooth surface.
Regular listening devices can be so tiny like a wristwatch battery. So items you use on a daily basis, be cautious and look out for unusual weights added to them.
Hidden listening devices can be found in wall clocks, teddy bears, mathematical sets, AC outlets, adapter sockets, TV remotes, air fresheners, frames of pictures, glasses, wristwatches, Car remotes, and so on.
How to Stop your Neighbor from Listening
Blocking a listening device should be done as soon as it is confirmed that you are being bugged. Sound jammers are used to neutralize and weaken nearby microphones. Follow these steps.
- Buy an audio jammer. These devices are expensive but effective. They are also easy to hide.
- Position the audio jammer in a place directly opposite your neighbor’s apartment.
- Test the audio jammer. Record a voice note on your phone in the presence of the jammer and see if it works perfectly.
After that, you can relax and be sure that your conversations cannot be heard by anyone with the aid of a listening device.
Listening devices are common nowadays and are used to eavesdrop on conversations. Law enforcement agencies are only permitted to use them when a warrant is granted. Individuals do not have the right to use listening devices to spy on other people’s conversations.
If you have any reason to believe you are being bugged, you can carry out a sweep of your house to be sure. Do not hesitate to report to the authorities if you confirm that your neighbor is in possession of a listening device. Your privacy is guaranteed by the law,