When you leave your home – to go on vacation or to go to the grocery store – do you worry about who’s minding the proverbial store? If you do, you are not alone. The home surveillance market is booming.
Burglaries, home invasions, scams and fraud are on the rise, and the most likely victims are seniors and two-income families whose homes are left vacant for long periods of time.
Advanced video surveillance systems are proving to be one of the best investments you can make. Costs of such sophisticated devices are getting lower and new digital and wireless equipment can be easily installed.
Before you go shopping for a security camera system, you need to think about what you’ll be watching and what you need in order to watch it. How many cameras are necessary? What parts of your home do you want to monitor? Do you want wired or wireless cameras? What are legalities of video surveillance?
Indoor cameras are best for monitoring infants, children and the elderly. Outdoor cameras watch whose approaching your home and outside activities, and they even have the potential of catching a burglar in the act of breaking in. If you have a smartphone, you can monitor your home with a cell-driven security system from anywhere in the world and the built-in alarm systems will automatically alert your local law enforcement or security agencies.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wireless cameras have more flexibility (you can move the cameras from place to place easily), but broadcasts from other devices such as your home wifi, cordless phones and baby monitors can interrupt a wireless signal. The biggest downside of a wireless system is its vulnerability to “hacking” or people outside your home intercepting your signal. However, this can easily be prevented by a professional installer who will provide encrypted signal protection.
Wired cameras require more complicated installation and exposed wires can be a dead giveaway to your security system’s existence, but they typically provide a higher quality, more hack-free signal than wireless.
Big vs. Small
Larger cameras will be visible, and people typically install them outside or in an area where people know they are under video surveillance. You can find smaller, hidden cameras online in many different forms – inside an alarm clock or intercom system, for instance.
Where you place your camera is important. You want to make sure the right areas are in focus and clearly visible. Proper installation is essential to prevent the cameras from shaking and unwanted removal, and protection from the elements.
Before installing any type of video surveillance system, especially the hidden camera variety, you need to be aware of certain legal restrictions. In most states, you are required to inform people that they may be in an area that is being recorded by video or audio devices. For instance, if you record someone’s telephone conversation without their knowledge, it’s illegal. Also, you are breaking the law when you fail to notify visitors to your home that they are being monitored by hidden cameras.
Once you’ve got your cameras properly installed, it is just a matter of connecting to your home wireless Internet network and/or monitoring the camera’s captured action 24/7 on your smartphone.
My recommendation: Although it is possible to install the latest video surveillance technology yourself, you will feel more secure if you have it done professionally. Go to Google, search for “Southern California Home Surveillance Dealers”, check for licenses and credentials, and click on the installer of choice.