How to Tell if Someone is Bugging You

How You Can Tell if Someone is Bugging You?

[An observation on May 11, 2015 - This article was posted here on HubPages - on 09/09/09, my 9th posting. Maybe I should believe that "9" is to be my very lucky number. As of today, this article has been read 14,165 times by readers who very likely were persons who believed themselves to be bugged by someone.]

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Most people would declare, "Go ahead and eavesdrop. I have nothing to hide."

Saying that is understandable, but that does not make it true.

Everyone has something worth being kept secret. Think about your own situation. You have a social security number, credit card information, a bank account, a driver license, an unlisted telephone number, computer usernames and passcodes, names and addresses of friends and family, E-mail addresses, and on and on.

See, you do have a whole lot to hide – and you should.

How can you tell when someone is bugging you; that is, actively eavesdropping on you to try to get at your secrets? There are warning signs that you can recognize when someone is bugging you. These have been listed for us all by the "Granite Island Group," a company that specializes in countering spying by the use of technical surveillance counter measures. .

Some indications that you may be bugged

All of a sudden, people seem to know your confidential information, the things you thought were safe, secure, and very secret. Whenever your competitors show that they know your private matters, or when you smell that people who should not know those things do know them, or when you read an article about yourself in the newspaper or hear your secrets being talked about on the radio – but you never told anyone or gave an interview – it is time for you to suspect that you have been bugged.

Business spying is big business. You are about to bid on a profitable job. It is important for you and your staff to really consider the deal in all of its aspects. So you have meetings of those planners who need to know what is going on and what your project bid positions (pricing and the like) are going to be. The next thing you know, the company down the street enters a project bid that duplicates your own, right to the letter – except for one thing. They offer a better price.

People who should not know about your many activities do know about them.

Voices on your telephone sound funny or change voice volume during a conversation. A really professional eavesdropper would not let that happen, but it could be that you are being bugged by an amateur, and there are plenty of amateur eavesdroppers around. It is time to get your telephone instruments and phone lines checked.

Another possible indicator similar to phone volume changes is "extra" noise in your ear. Scratching, popping, and static sounds qualify here to make you hustle to have your phone setup checked.

If your eavesdropper has been able to access your telephone equipment so as to install what is known as a "hook switch bypass" on the telephone handset, that telephone is now turned into a microphone and also a speaker that are constantly "on." If your phone handset is hung up and you hear sounds coming from it, you can assume that someone is listening to all that is going on within up to twenty feet or so.

If your phone rings a lot, but nobody is there. Maybe there is a faint tone, or you may hear a momentary, high-pitched squeal or beep, there may have been a "slave device" or phone line extender installed on your telephone line. But, don’t panic if it is only an incoming fax machine or modem trying to get through to you, or perhaps by dialing your number by mistake.

You can be an amateur counter-spy yourself by using your AM/FM radio to check for spying gadgetry in your surroundings. The method of use here is somewhat complicated, and so reference is made to the "tscm" Web site (above) for a good description. You move around your area with the radio, and if you hear the radio squealing, you probably have a problem.

Even car radios are not exempt from bugging use. If the radio in your car gets "weird" it may be that it is being exploited by an eavesdropper.

As with the car radio and the AM/FM radio you use for a squeal test, when your TV comes up with funny interferences, it is time to get serious about finding out why. Is it eavesdropping or is it an ailing TV?

Someone burgled your house or place of business – but stole nothing. You can tell that someone was in there. Maybe they left a live bug behind.

Hey, that electrical wall plate was not at that strange angle before today!

Someone you don’t know all that well just gave you a very nice writing pen or electronic gadget as a gift. Maybe you do know them as one of your vendors or someone you recognize as a friend of one of your competitors. Could be also, your soon-to-be ex-wife’s brother! One never knows.

All of a sudden a little hole (around dime-sized) shows up in the ceiling or the wall. It could be that someone has placed a camera or a microphone behind the hole because they heard that you were good-looking or had a fine singing voice, right?

Where did that bump in the vinyl baseboard come from? How about some wiring or maybe a little microphone? You don’t have any metal cockroaches, do you?

If you were to hide an eavesdropping gadget, where would you be likely to conceal it? How about that now-crookedly placed smoke detector, electric clock, exit sign, or framed picture. There may also be a small hole on its surface as well as indications that someone moved it a bit.

How did that get here? The that could be almost anything, like a radio, a clock, a new exit sign that you never ordered – almost anything unexpected and not there earlier.

If you see some white powder on the floor or on some furniture, look around and above the powder to see if someone may have drilled a small hole in the wallboard – or if someone didn’t know how to get sugar into their coffee.

If you spot the telephone company or TV cable people seeming to hang out in your vicinity way more than they probably should, it is time to check things out carefully.

Service and delivery trucks are often used as "listening posts." Be watchful if you see them parked close by with no one seeming to be in them.

Service people show up at your place, but no one called them.

Who moved the furniture?

The sign of a recently "picked" lock is that it doesn’t "feel right" any more.

After you open the envelope that just arrived in the mail, out comes a transcript of what you thought were your own private conversations. The sender is trying to mess with your mind. You can almost anticipate this sort of thing when there are problems with a marriage, custody fights, and the like.

Well, there you have a bunch of indicators that should cause you to find out the why, the where, the when, the who, and the cure for what just may be someone bugging you. You have secrets. It pays to know when other people are trying to get at them.

Some may remember that cautionary expression that was seen and heard very often in the days of World War II - "Loose lips sink ships." It was a good thing that spies and the like did not have the tiny electronic bugging devices that are readily available today for use against YOU.

Here is a "fun" blog post about another kind of "bugging"

This is on the blog post, "Stop Bugging Me,"an entry on The Daily Redneck blog. It is about some West Coast Redneck who hired a company to help him get rid of some hairy bugs that he was certain were somewhere in his kitchen. He couldn't find the things, so he hired it done for him.

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Comments 32 comments

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Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

I can't believe I didn't leave a comment here Gus....I came back to see what you had answered, and hmmmmm (tapping finger on my lips in complete confusion!!!!)

So, I'll remedy that oversight and tell you I thought this was a great hub. It's easy to see from some of the Hubs you do that you have had lots of experience in many different fields.

It turns out, I was so busy Digging this and Stumbling it that I completely forgot to comment.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 7 years ago from USA Author

Duchess - As to confusion and forgetfulness,join the crowd with me! And, you might want to call that "experience" to be my curiosity. There have been several patents and lots of complicated products to result from it. Gotta have some fun once in a while. We'd best add "ticked-offedness" on top of curiosity. That's how one good patent came about - I was ticked off about some things a supplier had done to us.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Very interesting hub, but if someone is bugging me, I feel sorry for them. They must be bored to tears. Maybe I'll see if I can't figure out something to liven up their day.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 7 years ago from USA Author

Lynda - It is great good fun to set folks up with neato pranks like that.

Gus ;-)))

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

This is really a great topic you picked out Gus! I enjoyed the read....

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA Author

Hi Michael - You are exactly correct. It is the most read of any of my hubs... 578 page reads with 71 coming from Hubpages and 507 reads from various places on the Internet. Very few comments, however. Even so, it is a very poor $$$$ earner on Adsense.

Gus :-)))

Hamza Abokor 6 years ago

All in all, Those Bugging or eavesdropping devices have been created for enemies or finding truths about crimes happened or going to happen. Their purpose was that but they have been misused and violated for what they were intended for their usage. Whatever, do not panic, just assume that they are not there or no body care about your affairs.

When it comes to secret or sensitive issues, we do not talk about in the phone, just face to face or other way you can present. Although I see what you want to tell somebody is not longer a secret to you.

A secret is always in your heart. By the time you pronounce it , it is not a secret. So, what are you worrying about?

Keep your secrets inside your heart. If they put hidden camera inside the wall of your house or room, nothing is secret there, we know the hardware you have, so let them see what they do not have!

I don't care those new technology any more and I know they can be in everybody's hands including me.

From now on , be the the type of people who have no what they call a secret and be happy and worry nothing about bugging , eavesdropping.

The only thing I hate is the virus or programs that in hinders or Slows my devices. But in case I sense that too, I can get anti- virus or other application that can clean and protect my computer.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA Author

Hello Hamza - Thank you for your very good and detailed comment.

Gus :-)))

mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

Interesting stuff. It's amazing all of the ways others find to take what is not theirs. My husband used to laugh at me for shredding practically everything, until he found all kinds of paperwork with his personal information scattered around the countryside near our home. (out trash service isn't so careful with things) Forget bugging our home, he was basically just handing stuff out!

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA Author

Hi mulberry - Privacy is important for a great many reasons. Bet you a penny that your husband is paying attention to your good habits now.

The Internet is another place where folks often get careless. I make it a point to keep sensitive information away from my keyboard, to use a difficult-to-crack bunch of passwords, and to erase my browsing history before moving to any sensitive website and before closing the computer. I use a really good and effective anti-virus/anti-everything-else program so that all sorts of spyware/keyloggers/etc. are thwarted - and I extend their use to any temporary media I use, such as diskettes, CD/DVRs/and "thumb" drives. You and I have no control over the things that the proprietors do with any website we visit, even our wonderful HubPages with thousands of unknowns posting stuff here. You have to protect yourself from digital mayhem, and there is more than enough of that to go around.

Telephones are, of course, wide open for abuse. Cell phone providers may do what they can to encode your transmissions, but those transmissions are sent out into the ether and are available for anyone to intercept and decode if they can do so. I do not personally worry over my phone conversations because I never talk about anything on the phone that I would not hesitate to print in the newspaper. I am not paranoid about such things, but I see no point in broadcasting anything that would bring problems to me later on. Fact is, I really do not know anything that might become useful to anyone who might want to rip me off or cause harm to me or to anyone else. Maybe my ignorance is what keeps me so fat and happy all the time.

Gus :-)))

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...after enjoying this wide selection you offer of some of the finest writing at the Hub I must humbily offer you a famous epi-man top ten ......

Top ten hats that Gus wears

1. He wears the hat of an ambassador

2. He wears the hat of an ombudsman

3. He wears the hat of a humorist

4. and a humanitarian

5. He wears the same hat Mark Twain used to wear

6. He wears a very unpretentious hat

7. and yet it is the hat of a scholar

8. and yes a gentleman too!

9. The ladies all love him ....

10. and the men know he is a worthy peer.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA Author

Hi "epi" - Well, sir, I do not know really how to respond to your list, basically because there no longer is a person walking around on earth who could possibly be anywhere close to matching your words of praise. All the same, I am going to investigate if I can somehow turn those lovely items into cash money, and I can always use the daylights out of cash money.

Thanks "epi," but I have to tell you "there ain't no way, no how, notime - no kidding.

Gus :)))

Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


Great hub. It made me think of when I served papers to my ex. I was so afraid he was bugging my phones and looked over my shoulder every where I went. He was not a good man so it was not that I was paranoid. Glad those days are over.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA Author

Healing Touch - The saying is, "This, too, shall pass."

I have to smile when I think about how confused someone would get were they to "bug" my telephone. There are frequent moments when I have difficulty in undertanding myself. :)

Gus :-)))

Vickie Bovender profile image

Vickie Bovender 5 years ago from Southeastern US

Wonderful Hub packed with much to think about. I think I'll poke around and see what else you've written! Voting up and useful!

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Vickie.

mquee profile image

mquee 5 years ago from Columbia, SC

I don't know how I missed this one Gus, but at any rate very good, very interesting, and very detailed.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Milt (mquee) - This one is a golden oldie, but I am glad you found it. Also, it is the most read of all of my several articles, with most of the readers being from the Internet rather than HubPages.

Gus :-)))

juanforall profile image

juanforall 5 years ago from Q.C. MNL

Stumbled upon this article of yours Gus(while browsing for another topic), it's a great find to read. I read it from start to finish. It's witty :)) I'll follow your profile :D

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA Author

Howdy juanforall - #1: What a fine HubName you chose! # 2: Thanks for the read. I saw from your profile page that you are from Perth... (did not have time to look and see if that was in Australia or if it was Perth Amboy, New Jersey...) Will return for another look soon.

Gus :-)))

how-to-make profile image

how-to-make 5 years ago from India

I thing, most of the times we can read the emotions or the facial expressions to read someones mind. Your tips are great. Nice hub, thanks for sharing but its really hard to know if someone is a bugging expert! lol!

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA Author

Howdy "HTM" - It is good to be to azscertain folks' thoughts from their expressions and the like, but some people like to (and often profit by) actual eavedropping. You might like to know that the above article is the most widely read of any of my hubs - on the order of 4,000+ page views thus far and no end in sight. Most of the reading comes through the search engines and only rarely from here on HubPages.


NorW 5 years ago

Its' sad that there is little to no privacy if someone decides to violate those very basic rights.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi NorW - That's a nifty pen name you have there. Betcha no one confuses you with one of those "Down Easters" who hang out in the state of Maine...

As to privacy and "bugging" it is said that there is no real privacy in this world except when you are still a fetus or, perhaps 6 feet under.

One time I had lots of problems with folks piddling around in one of my then offices. I was never sure that they had been "in there" but I really thought it possible. I found out for sure by hanging a thin rubber band on the door latch "tongue" that retracts when the door knob is turned to enter a room. The band falls to the floor without making a noise and it is rarely if ever seen by an intruder - but when it is sitting there in the morning, you know that entrance was made in the night. Sure enough. :)

Thanks for the read.

Gus :-)))

jamie 4 years ago

i was wondering if you ever hear of people being bugged?

If so how do you prof it?

and were it might be?



GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 4 years ago from USA Author

Hello Jamie - Bugging (telephones, homes, offices, etc.) is all very common. One very good example of bugging is that of the U.S. Embassy being constructed in Moscow by the Soviets during "Cold War" days. Just about every room in the place had built-in bugs. It is interesting how many different ways bugging can be done. For example, with the right equipment, even the vibrations made by speech within a room can be intercepted by "listening" to the vibrations of the glass windows caused by the sounds in the room.

For lots more information about bugging, just enter the word into a search engine and read the many pages you will uncover.

Gus :-)))

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

My old world. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 4 years ago from USA Author

Martin (Mhatter99) - You probably know what "they" say in the "old country," don't you? I was told that it is "It's getting mighty old around here."

Merry Christmas to you, too.

Gus :-)))

torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 21 months ago

I would have to say that you can tell when someone is annoying you, is when you start to get irritated at every little thing that they say and every little thing that they do. overall, great hub. thanks.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 21 months ago from USA Author

torrilynn - That "bugging" hub is from way back in 2009 and has shown itself to enjoy a long and very healthy life. The next meaningful marker to be hit by that hub is going to be 15,000 "reads." I guess that indicates the large number of readers who have been annoyed over the years.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 20 months ago from New York

This was such an interesting article. A fun read and I actually may have learned something. Good job. Liked it very much.

GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 20 months ago from USA Author

Hello BobbiRant -

I appreciate your kind comment. In the event that it was not all that noticeable, the "Bugging" article was one of the earliest ones of the bunch - like from way back in 2009. If I add your read to those preceding it, there have been 14,275 reads for the thing since then. (Probably more reads than all for other articles I ever posted...) The stuff I load onto this otherwise fine website these days sometimes get as many as 20 reads in a month, but good, old "Bugging" usually comes along with another 30 or 40. Interesting - and it might be telling us something to which we might want to pay attention. Fun and games, right?

Sometime down the road a piece, you and I might want to swap some nursing home notes. I only worked within them doing mobile X-Ray for about two years, but that is a lifetime for anyone whose eyes, ear, nose, and sensitivities are functioning. Later on I was on the BofD of a non-profit chain of nursing homes. To be honest with you, I think that I'd rather my bride and I lived in a tent than one of those places.


Gus :-)))

p.s.: And that reminds me once again that today was the 62nd year together for the pretty gal and me. Probably go out Monday tent shopping.

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