What do you want from Security Cameras
Ability to view cameras
- For confirmation of alarms
- For curiosity
- When someone rings your doorbell
Storage of video or photos
- On site (e.g. local DVR) or in the Cloud
- Forensics (after an event occurs)
Monitoring - What does monitoring means for cameras
- Someone watches the cameras
- Too expensive for home use, only business and critical infrastruture can afford to pay people to monitor the cameras.
- For confirmation of alarms
- Service that monitors you alarms has ability to view cameras
- Can affect your privacy
- Review yourself after an event (not really monitoring)
- Provide assistance if someone breaks into a neighbors house
Consider Where the Cameras will be Located
Inside the Home
- Privacy is a MUST
- If you can view the cameras remotely, they assume that others can too.
Outside the Home
- Point toward street, help neighbors and Sheriff
- Wiring more difficult, most will want professional installation.
- Pan, Tilt, Zoom, or fixed
- Night Vision
- Wired or Wireless (and source of power too)
Risks From use of Security Cameras
- Many cameras come with default passwords. Be sure to change your password so that others scanning the networks can't use your cameras.
- Many cameras have software vulerablities that may allow an outside
to gain access to your home network by breaking into your camera and
exploiting such vulnerabilities. Be sure to keep the software on your
camera up to date, and consider installing on a separate network
Questions to ask the providers of Camera Systems You Might Consider
- Is communication with the cameras and sensors wired or wireless
(e.g. Between the home security controller, DVR, router)? How does
this this impact ease or cost of installation, as well as reliability
- What is the means of communication to the outside (e.g. for alarm monitoring, for notifications, or for offsite storage of images/video). Does it use Internet, a phone line, cellular, and is a backup means is provided in case the primary means is unavailable. What are the costs of the various options?
- What information (e.g. images, video) is stored, where, for how long, is it remotely accessible?
- What are the capabilities when communication or power is off? For example, an alarm event might be communicated through a backup channel, but video might be unavailable.
- What kind of monitoring is included, or subscribed? Is it only the alarm component that is monitored, is video used to confirm alarmed events, etc. Can you personally view the video or camera feeds on your cell phone or computer at work?
- What about privacy? Who can view the photos or video from your cameras? If they tell you, only you, then they are wrong ˇV the system may be designed that way, but you must always expect that at the very least someone will be able to ˇ§hack intoˇ¨ such systems.
- What about cameras outside the home? Will you system record activities on the street that may be helpful in instigations of crimes that occur elsewhere in the community? If enough homes do this, it creates a deterrent effect that benefits the entire community.