What can handheld heat detectors see when they are pointed at you and your home

While thermal cameras can be used for positive reasons, they can also be used in the wrong hands, meaning the surveillance around you gets even deeper.

If your hands are on a smartphone and that smartphone is then photographed by a thermal imager, it will display infrared dots on the smartphone indicating where you touched it.

The brighter area appears on a thermal image, the more recently the smartphone was touched.

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Criminals and hackers can use this imaging to scan a keypad, ATM or smartphone, to reveal the thermal signature left on those devices so they can discover PINs and passcodes for your private information.

Thermal cameras can be dangerous in the wrong hands, which means the surveillance around you gets even deeper.
(InfiRay)

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Can thermostats see my house?

Unfortunately, a criminal can use these thermal detectors to see inside your home because the devices can potentially be used to see through your walls and reveal what’s inside your home without you even realizing it. However, the ability to clearly see inside the house depends on the specific device and its capabilities, as well as the thickness and installation of the walls.

Can thermal devices see through my clothes?

Thermal imaging devices detect infrared radiation emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero. They don’t “see” in the same way that visible-light cameras do and instead create an image based on temperature differences between objects.

Clothing does not block infrared radiation, so a thermal imager can detect heat radiating from a person’s body even if they are wearing clothes. However, the image generated by the device will not display the details of a person’s body. Instead, it will show the heat signature of the person as a whole.

Is it easy to get a thermal detector?

Thermal camera for homes to pair with iPhone.

Thermal camera for homes to pair with iPhone.
(InfiRay)

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Criminals can buy these imaging devices online and start violating your privacy whenever they want. Some are sold as smartphone attachments, like the one from InfiRay. It can be connected to an iPhone or Android device to act as a kind of night vision device. Even worse, these thermal imagers can be found for as low as $150, so they’re more affordable now than ever.

However, it is important to note that these thermal visualization devices are used in various industries such as security, firefighting, and infrastructure inspections – not just in invasion of privacy – and were designed for legal use, not criminal activity.

InfiRay has also created a hand-held thermal imager designed to scan buildings and inspect cars and other devices.

InfiRay has also created a hand-held thermal imager designed to scan buildings and inspect cars and other devices.(InfiRay)

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InfiRay has also created a handy thermal imager designed to scan buildings and inspect cars and other machinery.

I checked out these devices at CES 2023, and while they’re pretty cool, as you mentioned, they can also be used by criminals to steal valuable information from you.

How can I protect myself and my home from thermal imaging devices?

  • Use heat-insulating materials such as aluminum foil or a special heat-blocking paint to cover windows and walls
  • Install thermal curtains or drapes to prevent thermal imaging from entering your home
  • Use a thermal imaging camera to detect and locate thermal imaging devices
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for anyone who may be using thermal imagers
  • Consult an expert in thermal imaging and countermeasures for further guidance and advice
  • Albeit these are extreme solutions to the growing concern.

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