The presence of a surveillance camera in your home does not always deter criminals from accessing your home and breaching security, because there are different methods they can use to interfere with recordings. These can range from spray painting over outdoor cameras to cutting their wires, as well as hackers who seek to tamper with the system remotely.
Some methods you can use to maintain the safety of your home security cameras are choosing good camera placements, hiding the cameras, getting good protective housing, opting for wireless cameras, using strong encryption methods, and opting for tamper detection cameras.
There is some good news though, as you can implement these steps to protect the cameras while keeping you safe.
Best methods of keeping cameras safe
Good camera placements
Before installing the cameras, it is best to consider the best spots that allow for a wide view, as well as protecting them from possible tampering. As a rule, it is best to mount it as high as possible, and then install it alongside a high-quality cover that makes it hard to access to reduce the chances of an intruder interfering with it.
Hiding the camera
To protect the surveillance cameras, aim to hide them from plain sight. There are intruders that will first aim to destroy a visible camera, so you can place an additional camera in a hidden position to record additional evidence of tampering.
The good news is that hidden cameras are very small and unnoticeable, and you can install them in a hidden location like a plant. The only thing to keep in mind is maintaining a good field of view, so you need to position the lens properly.
Get protective housing
Adding protective housing for your cameras will reduce the chances of vandalizing or damage. It will depend on your preferences, as there are many DIY options, as well as high-quality covers you can buy like outdoor lanterns, birdhouses, and even creating one through using glue and PVC pipes.
Opt for wireless cameras
Any trespasser can easily tamper with your camera functionality by cutting its wires. Therefore, it is better to go for a wireless camera setup, because they are easier to install, more affordable, and small enough to fit anywhere in your house.
Choose a tamper detection camera
While shopping for a security camera, it is a good idea to look for one that has tamper detection capabilities. These cameras will send alerts to your phone or device when someone tampers with them through:
- Obscuring of the camera’s focus
- Someone covering the camera lens using an object or spray paint
- Someone switching off the camera
- Moving or hitting the camera
Avoid letting bugs interfere with the equipment
Alongside getting a tamper detection camera type, it is good to be mindful of any insects that can be attracted by the security camera infrared and LED lights, such as moths, mosquitos and spiders. This can ultimately affect surveillance equipment, because these insects can obscure the lens, trigger false motion alerts, and make you less aware of the presence of intruders in your home.
To avoid this, clean the cameras regularly using a microfiber cloth or soft brush to remove dust, dead leaves, debris, or insects. You can also opt for insect repellant if they are proving to be a problem, although you should avoid spraying the lens directly.
You can opt for cameras with smart video analytics as well, which can differentiate moving animals and objects from people and avoid triggering false alerts.
Set strong login credentials for your camera surveillance system
Any internet-connected device is vulnerable to hacking, including a home surveillance system, which means that there is someone watching you without your knowledge and possibly gaining access to additional devices on that network – including your smartphone and computer. This makes it essential to set up a strong password that cannot be easily guessed by would-be attackers that want to compromise the system’s security.
This is a difficult task however, despite the common knowledge that you should avoid reusing passwords. If you are short of ideas, you can use password generators that create strong passwords for you, and store it in reputable password managers. Alternatively, you can write the passwords in a physical notebook – avoid typing them in a Google Spreadsheet or Microsoft Word document, because hackers can access these.
As a guideline, good passwords should fulfill these criteria:
- They should be long – the longer they are, the better
- Use combinations of lower and upper case letters, as well as symbols and numbers
- They should not have information that identifies you, like your birthday, where you live, or email address
- They should not be reused on another website or platform
- They can have dictionary words, but these should not make sense
Update camera firmware
All your surveillance cameras will operate on firmware, which is their software – just like your computer running on an operating system. To ensure maximum levels of security, it is essential to update the firmware frequently, which will prevent hackers from accessing your camera and its footage.
Unfortunately, many people do not enable automatic updates for the software, leaving their cameras vulnerable to security loopholes and hackers. To avoid this, check the camera’s mobile app and see if there are any updates needed, then install them.
Other ways to keep the cameras safe
When installing your home security cameras, avoid placing them in areas of your house that are explicitly private such as a bathroom or bedroom. If the thought of someone watching you is worrying, you can cover the camera physically or unplug it when you get home.
Additionally, you can choose a camera that has physical indicators as to whether it is in live view mode or whether it is recording footage, which will let you know if someone is watching you. If you are worried that any vulnerabilities in your home network are present, you can set up a separate network for your cameras, different from the one your other devices are using.
Although there are some factors that prevent proper functioning of your surveillance cameras, proper installation and maintenance will reduce the chances of this occurring.