Mobile phones Worried about being bugged? Don’t keep your phone in the microwave

By: Alex Hern

 Under surveillance ... Tory MP Steve Baker. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
Under surveillance … Tory MP Steve Baker. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

While the unusual technique reportedly employed by the MP Steve Baker does work, there are easier ways to ensure your privacy

We have all had conversations that made us want to destroy our phones in rage, but that is not why Theresa May’s nemesis, the Brexiter MP Steve Baker, apparently put his in the microwave.

According to reports, Baker – who led the campaign last week to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Tory leader – is paranoid about surveillance and keeps his phone in the microwave overnight to avoid being “bugged”.

To be fair to Baker, he is right – at least about the microwave. The metallic mesh on the door of a typical oven forms a Faraday cage on the outside of the cooker, preventing the energetic microwaves from cooking you as they cook your meal. Put a phone in there and the barrier will work just as well to prevent any signals getting in or out. If you are really concerned, 30 seconds at 800W will definitely prevent any further eavesdropping for good (and may destroy your kitchen, too).

But there are more convenient ways of achieving the same end. For £20, you can buy a “Faraday bag” – a small pouch with the same mesh built in – allowing you to achieve signal blackout while keeping your microwave free for reheating last night’s dinner. Even better for Baker, the bag in question is made in Britain, thus ensuring continued supply in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

 

More: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2018/nov/26/worried-about-being-bugged-dont-keep-phone-microwave-steve-baker-privacy