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Video Surveillance Maintenance

Implementing an advanced, top quality CCTV surveillance system can greatly improve your overall security. However, if not installed and maintained properly, it could ultimately be useless. In order to preserve its effectiveness, be sure your surveillance system is professionally installed and that you routinely complete maintenance checks.

Employ this video surveillance maintenance checklist to keep your system functioning optimally.

  • Clean Camera Lenses

A dirty camera lens will compromise your video footage. Smudges, dust, water-spots and other undesirable elements can occur. To avoid this, check both indoor and outdoor camera lenses to ensure they are clean. Ideally, to clean your camera lenses, you should start with a compressed air can to blow the lens and remove loose debris, and then use a microfiber brush to gently wipe the lenses.

  • Landscape

When installing outdoor cameras, be sure there are no obstructions. If you must install an outdoor camera near trees or other greenery, be sure to trim the landscape to keep the field of view clear.

  • Camera Housing

Security camera housing is meant to protect your camera from rain, wind, and other elements, but sometimes it can be compromised. To ensure that the housing is functioning properly, open it to check for signs of water, dirt, and condensation. If you see any of these, it may be time to invest in new, better camera enclosures.

  • Check For Corrosion

Be sure to monitor your connectors for any signs of corrosion. If you find that any are corroded, replace them immediately as this can cause the equipment to short out.

  • Check Cable Connections

As you check the connectors for corrosion, you want to also make sure that all cable connectors are receiving power and watch for signs of wear and tear. If you find any exposed wire, replace it immediately.

  • Check The Power Supply

To ensure that there is no loss of power, check your power supplies and UPS (be sure batteries are fully charged and no warning lights are on). You may also want to invest in a voltmeter to guarantee that your surveillance cameras are receiving their recommended power requirements.

  • Dust Your DVR

As with any dormant device, your DVR may begin collecting dust. You should wipe this clean with a microfiber cloth (or use a blower to dust the crevices) regularly to prevent any negative effect on your DVR’s performance.

  • Emptying The Hard Drive

Depending on your hard drive capacity, you will need to periodically back up and delete your video footage once it fills up.

  • Verify The Recording Function At Least Once Per Week

Set a weekly reminder to check on your camera recordings to make sure they are working. It is better to take preventative measures so that you don’t miss any important footage.

  • Periodically Review Camera Position Set Ups

Make sure your security system is providing optimal surveillance by checking camera locations and focus. If there are any areas that are going unmonitored, you may consider adding additional cameras.

  • Check The Lighting

Be sure that your cameras are receiving adequate lighting to produce clear images for easy identification. Additionally, make sure cameras are not being washed out by sunlight during the day.

  • Check And Remove Any Obstructions

As mentioned, you want your camera to have an unobstructed view. Should a hidden camera become covered by a banner or poster, be sure to remove and/or relocate them.

  • Date And Time

Check the date and time on a daily basis for accuracy. A brief power outage may require the date and time to be set again.

  • Signage

Visible surveillance signage can act as a deterrent on its own. It lets potential intruders know that you are employing a video surveillance system and may discourage them from targeting your property.

  • Secure A Comprehensive Maintenance Coverage

Many service level agreements to maintain your surveillance system are available. They may include things like inspection, loaner gear, emergency response, extended warranty coverage, and more.

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If you need help choosing the CCTV surveillance system and security cameras that will best suit your needs, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com today!

Advantages Of Video Surveillance For Business

Video surveillance can be an excellent security measure in various environments. While retail stores and remote ATMs are commonplace locations for video surveillance, its benefits can also be seen when applied to a wide range of businesses and homes. Here are a few examples of these video surveillance benefits and why you should consider investing in it (if you don’t already).

  • Protection Of Assets
    A major selling point for video surveillance is their effectiveness as a crime prevention tool. The mere presence of these cameras can discourage criminals from trespassing, vandalizing, and stealing your property.
  • Employee Protection
    By installing surveillance cameras in parking garages or remote parking facilities, rear or side building entrances, and other dimly lit areas, you can increase employee safety and security. Not only does this protect your property, business, and employees, but it also shows employees that you care and value them.
  • Legal Protection
    Your video surveillance cameras can even deter frivolous lawsuits (and save you money). For example, let’s say a person claims to have injured themselves on your property and threatens a lawsuit. Without video evidence it’s your word against theirs. However, proper video surveillance footage provides concrete evidence of the incident.
  • Discounts On Property & Liability Insurance
    Often times, insurance companies offer discounts for home or business owners who have video surveillance cameras installed. These discounts can potentially offset the costs of your surveillance system.
  • Increased Employee Productivity/Theft Prevention
    A watchful eye can help to keep your employees on track. Employees are much more likely to stay on task when they are being monitored. Security cameras placed around the building, at loading docks and auto dealer service bays have been proven effective for improving productivity. In addition, employees are less likely to take off with company property when cameras are monitoring exit points.
  • Remote Monitoring
    Remote monitoring is a common and popular security feature, which will enables surveillance around the clock, even after your and staff have gone home. You can utilize this on its own or you may supplement your staff and guards.

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For a great selection of CCTV video surveillance packages, security cameras, and other security solutions, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. To schedule a site survey, request a free quote, or inquire about our installation services, please call us 888-203-6294.

DVRs: What You Need To Know

When shopping for a security system for your home or business, it may be easy to focus on the specific features of the security cameras. However, much attention should be paid to video surveillance storage as well. DVRs (digital video recorders) are an integral part to the overall surveillance system. Here are some of the features and specifications of DVRs that you should pay close attention to.

Frame Rate
A frame rate is a unit of measure denoting the number of frames recorded in each second by a DVR in a specific resolution. Calculations should be made based on the real-time frame rate of about 30 frames per second (FPS). For example, in order to record real-time video on a standard 16-channel system, you would need a DVR that has 480 FPS.

Remember that sellers may claim real-time images as the units display live video at about 30 FPS on each channel, but this needs to be assessed based on the recorded video footage (not the live video). A basic unit may record videos at less than 30 FPS while a top-end unit may deliver 30 FPS on each channel.

Video Resolution
Resolution is the size of the image displayed or recorded. The most popular resolution is CIF – 360×240, and the highest is specified as D1 – 720×480. This is an important specification to consider as larger recorded images afford you additional details for review. For example, 4CIF images can feature views detailed four times as much as a base CIF image. You can find a variety of DVRs boasting anywhere from CIF to D1 resolutions.

Compression
When the video is transferred to the DVR for storage, it is first compressed to save space and to make Internet viewing fluid. Compression standards can vary from basic to nearly no compression protocols (ex. MJPEG or wavelet) to the top-end compression methods (ex. MPEG4). Currently, the highest compression standards are H.264 (which is 40% more efficient than previous versions).

While compression methods may vary in DVRs, hybrid DVRs are available. These are capable of using a combination of compression methods, and can also be used to do compressions separately (Internet streaming vs. recording).

Storage Space
You will need to know how much data your DVR can hold. Presently, baseline DVRs may allow one or two hard drives only, while more advanced models now offer 6, 8, or more internal hard drives based on user requirements.

Popular DVRs also offer redundant storage (RAID) configuration and FTP uploads. The FTP uploads feature allows backup of video for the DVR at an off-premise FTP server. This helps to avoid any possibility of loss in the case of a local system crash or a DVR robbery.

Audio Recording
Audio can sometimes be an important addition to video footage. Some DVRs may accommodate synced audio and video, with lower-end versions having one to four channels and higher-end options offering up to 16 channels. Be sure to review the laws and legalities in regards to audio recording.

Video Out
There can be a wide variety of video output, from BNC to VGA to HDMI. If you have a mix of these, you may need to invest in quality converters to ensure proper connections and performance.

Viewing Remotely
Network IP surveillance systems allow users to access video footage via the Internet from virtually anywhere. Advanced systems even allow viewing more than one DVR at a time. These DVRs can boast specialized features such as camera groupings, e-mapping, different levels of user privileges, and more.

If you need assistance in choosing the right DVR and security cameras for you, please feel free to contact us 888-203-6294 or browse our vast selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Safety Tips For 4th Of July Holiday

With Independence Day fast approaching, many of us are making plans to celebrate. Whether it’s a family outing to the beach or a fireworks show, or simply a backyard barbecue at home, heed these safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Fireworks Safety
Fireworks are safest when admired from afar (at least 500 feet). Look for local public fireworks displays and try to secure a prime spot early (as these tend to be crowded events). If your city allows fireworks and you decide to light them at home, please follow these safety precautions:

  • Keep fireworks away from small children.
  • Follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a water supply close by (better safe than sorry).
  • The person igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Never attempt to relight a “dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place and away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

Grilling Safety
What is summer without backyard barbecues? As much as we love grilling under the sun, injuries are all too common when using backyard charcoal or gas grills. To prevent injury and maintain safety, follow these tips:

  • A barbecue grill that is in use should always be supervised.
  • Never grill indoors (ex. inside a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area).
  • Make sure everyone (including pets) stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • For the chef’s safety, use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

Beach Safety
If your beach visit includes swimming in the ocean, be sure to learn how to swim in the surf within the designated swimming area and only when/where a lifeguard is present. In addition, be sure to obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.

  • Check local weather conditions and look for any warning signs or flags that may be posted.
  • Always swim sober and with a buddy.
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear Coast Guard- approved life jackets.
  • Protect the neck – don’t dive head first. Walk carefully into open waters.
  • Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Waves can cause someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
  • Watch for aquatic life – water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave animals alone.

Rip Currents
Rip currents are relatively strong, narrow currents flowing outward from the beach through the surf zone, posing a potential hazard to swimmers. In fact, rip currents are responsible for many deaths and lifeguards rescues on our beaches. Any beach with breaking waves may have rip currents, so be aware of the dangers and remember these things:

  • If a person is caught in a rip current, it is advised to swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, turn and swim toward the shore. If they can’t swim to the shore, they should float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward the shore.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties – permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.

Sun Protection
You should limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 (reapply often). Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water regularly (thirsty or not) and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent UV sunlight. Also remember to protect your feet – hot sand can burn them and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke – hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke:

  • Call 911 and move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person.
  • Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the individual lying down.

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Don’t forget! We will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 for Independence Day. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. From everyone at SecurityCamExpert.com, we wish you a safe & happy Independence Day!

PTZ Cameras: The Basics

When it comes to security cameras, there are various types that work better in certain situations than others. Thanks to their specialized functions, PTZ cameras are ideal for monitoring large, high-traffic areas.

PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt, and Zoom, which means these security cameras can provide improved surveillance. These functions can be controlled manually (via monitoring software or a joystick) or automatically (via camera management software). Actively keeping an eye on the feed and the ability to manipulate the field of view means security staff can respond to any incidents that may arise quickly.

When employing camera management software, you have the option of setting up guard tours, which enables the camera to automatically move to set locations on a schedule. In addition, some PTZ security cameras offer auto-tracking, which can automatically follow a moving target (such as a person or car).

How Does PTZ Work?

Pan

  • The camera can swivel left and right for a wide area of coverage.
  • Pan can range up to a complete 360 degrees or less.

Tilt

  • The camera can tilt up and down for a wide vertical range of coverage.
  • Tilt will vary by camera model, with a maximum of 180 degrees.

Zoom

  • Optical zoom physically adjusts the camera lens (by changing the focal length) to zoom in and out (allowing the camera to maintain image quality).
  • The amount of optical zoom is expressed as #x (ex. 18x), which represents how much the camera can zoom (change the lens focal length).
  • Digital zoom blows up the image using software. This often results in pixilated images when zoomed too far, and thus, is not recommended.

As previously mentioned, PTZ cameras are ideal for surveillance of large areas including parking lots, common areas in schools or businesses, and convention centers. You may monitor the overall area while zeroing in on any suspicious activity. When paired with fixed network cameras that handle important locations such as entrances and exits, you can create a very flexible and functional surveillance system. With the fixed cameras maintaining an eye on vital points, the PTZ cameras are free to move around as needed. Furthermore, PTZ cameras are available for indoor or outdoor use in a variety of styles (but most commonly dome style).

Do you employ PTZ cameras on your own property? Share your own tips for utilizing these cameras with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Browse our selection of PTZ security cameras and more to suit your surveillance needs. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

Hiding Indoor Security Cameras

We all know that the presence of surveillance cameras can influence behavior, which is why we use them for security for homes and businesses. Although having them installed in plain sight can be helpful, concealing their presence can also prove to be beneficial.

Careful consideration goes into installing hidden cameras both indoors and outdoors. When installing these cameras outdoors, there are various discreet locations from which you may choose. However, hiding security cameras indoors may be a bit more challenging. Here are some tips to help you properly hide your indoor security cameras.

  • Wireless Security Cameras

Wires can be hard to hide as they must run along the walls. Instead, choose wireless cameras that can be controlled remotely and may use an electrical source or batteries.

  • Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right location is key when it comes to hiding your cameras. You want your security camera to go unnoticed, but you also want to get the proper angle and viewing field to capture valuable footage. Seek out areas that often go overlooked and are more crowded and busy than clean and spacious.

  • Size Matters

Because you are trying to conceal them, you want to choose cameras that are smaller than usual, but still posses the qualities and features you require. Small, compact, and wireless security cameras are ideal.

  • Heavy-Duty Adhesive Strips

Once you have chosen a compact security camera, rather than mounting it (which draws attention), use heavy-duty adhesive strips. Your camera may come with its own adhesive strips, but if not, you want to invest in the appropriate strips that can carry the weight of your camera (using additional strips may help reinforce it). But remember, if your camera works on a swivel & rotate mechanism, it may be mandatory to mount it to the wall.

  • Check Connectivity

Before settling on a location for your camera, you want to test the connectivity in that area. Do not ignore connectivity issues as these may indicate that your camera is not within range to receive the appropriate signals from the main hub. These issues will compromise the effectiveness of your camera, thus, you should find a new location that is within range.

In addition, if you will be installing multiple security cameras within your home, be sure to focus on one at a time. Install and test one camera at a time so that if problems arise, you can address them immediately.

When purchasing security cameras, it is important to evaluate the technical details and specifications of the different cameras and how they suit individual needs. If you have any questions or need assistance, we are happy to help – visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Protect Your Home

As we embark on the summer season, home security is emphasized. The long days and warm weather call for later nights, weekend getaways, and vacations. Whether you stay home or not, up your home security with these helpful tips.

Exterior Doors
With several different points of weakness (ex. handle, lock, hinges, frame) an exterior door is a common target for burglars. Sliding doors and French doors present even more weaknesses.

  • Invest in a sturdy deadbolt lock – the spring-latch lock on your door handle is easily compromised.
  • Install door armor kits on exterior doors, which usually include 3″ screws to replace short screws that come with door hardware, hefty strike plates for handles and deadbolts, and metal framing to place around the hinge and handle/lock hardware. This helps to reinforce the weak points of your door and safeguard against intruders.
  • Add auxiliary locks to sliding doors, such as loop locks, security bars ( also known as sliding door polls or Charlie bars), or vertical bolt locks.
  • Add a security bar to French doors to prevent kick-ins. While they may not be visually appealing, they are effective.
  • With French doors, and most doors in general, make sure all of your hinge pins are interior-facing to avoid giving burglars easy access without force.
  • Glass doors should be enforced with security film. This prevents glass from being easily broken.

Windows
Luckily, there are numerous ways to increase window security, whether they are old or you are installing new windows.

New windows:

  • Choose reinforced (tempered or laminated) glass or acrylic (polycarbonate) windows. These are much harder to break than traditional glass windows and can help deter criminals from continuing after the first attempt at breaking in.
  • Choose multiple panes of glass instead of one large pane. Multiple glass panes provide added strength and durability.

Old Windows:

  • Add after-market window locks to your built-in window locks. These provide an easy and inexpensive way to prevent windows from being forced open. Depending on the style of your window, you may need double hung window locks, sliding window locks or locks for casement windows (sometimes called crank windows).
  • For additional protection, exterior windows bars may be added. Aside from protecting your windows, most of these window bars come in decorative designs to accent the style of your home.
  • As previously mentioned, security film can be added to windows to decrease the likelihood of break-ins (thicker film provides the highest level of protection).

Garage Doors
Unfortunately, an attached garage door can be easily compromised, and garage door security is often overlooked. What is especially troubling is that after gaining access, burglars can quickly shut the garage door behind them and take their time rummaging through your home without being seen.

  • Refrain from leaving garage door openers in your vehicles. It may seem inconvenient, but it is worth the security.
  • Secure your garage door emergency release to prevent easy intruder access. You may fasten it with a zip tie (which can be broken by yanking the release cord) or place a barrier between the top of the door and the release.
  • A garage door sensor can alert you when your garage has opened. Newer garage door openers have this feature built-in as well as an auto-closing feature that will close your garage door after a long period of time.
  • A deadbolt on the door between your garage and home will help to prevent further intrusion. You may want to also install a peephole viewer on this door to make it easier to inspect the garage without opening the door.
  • Install a bright, motion sensing light in the garage to bring attention to an open garage door.

Make Your Home Look Occupied
Regardless if you are home or not, you want to make it look like your home is occupied. An unoccupied home is a prime target for burglars.

  • Use strategically placed lights and lamps with timers. Lights turning on and off in different rooms will make it appear as if you are home.
  • Leave a television or radio on at moderate volume. Noise will make criminals think you are home, and the light from the television mimics activity.
  • Leave some curtains or blinds open. This is helpful if you are using light timers or a television to cast light. It can also be helpful should police or a neighbor need to take a look into your home.

Perimeter Security
Some of the best tactics are not thought of as prevention techniques.

  • Get a dog. A barking dog may make enough noise to bring attention to an approaching burglar and deter them from proceeding.
  • Invest in a home security system and signage. This may deter them from targeting your home, and if it does not, you know your home is protected and that police will be alerted in a timely fashion.
  • Outdoor lighting is a great way to keep intruders away. Darkness allows intruders to sneak around your property unnoticed, but dusk-to-dawn porch lights and motion-activated lights around your perimeter help to increase visibility.
  • Keep a car parked in the driveway. This makes it seem that someone is home.
  • Maintain your landscape and keep bushes and shrubs near windows trimmed to minimize hiding spots. You may even consider planting thorny or spiked plants (ex. blackberry bushes, holly, juniper) to prevent burglars from getting too close.

Have your own tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!

Need help finding the right home security system for you? Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection of surveillance systems or call 888-203-6294 today!

Building The Ideal CCTV Surveillance System

When it comes to securing your property, CCTV cameras can be very effective. However, because there are a wide variety of CCTV cameras suited for different applications, if they are not properly implemented, their effectiveness may be compromised.

Before choosing your surveillance system, review the different types of CCTV cameras and the application for which they are best suited.

Different Types Of CCTV

Dome Camera

  • Commonly used for indoor surveillance
  • The ambiguous shape & design acts as a deterrent as criminals are unsure which way the camera is facing
  • Ease of installation
  • Vandal-proof features
  • Infrared capability

Bullet Camera

  • Long, cylindrical shape ideal for long distance viewing
  • Better suited for outdoor use
  • Protective casings safeguard against dust, dirt, and other natural elements
  • Compact size makes for easy installation and mounting with bracket
  • Fitted with either fixed or varifocal lenses depending on the requirements of the intended application
  • Adaptability (can be used indoors and outdoors)
  • High quality image resolution

C-Mount Camera

  • Detachable lenses allow for simple lens changes to fit different applications
  • Specialized lens use allow these cameras the ability to cover distances beyond 40ft
  • Can support changes in technology
  • Effective for indoor use
  • Bulky design and presence acts as a deterrent

Day/Night Camera

  • Can operate in both normal and poorly lit environments
  • They utilize extra sensitive imaging chips (instead of infrared illuminators)
  • Ideal for outdoor applications in which IR cameras do not function optimally
  • Record in both color and black & white
  • Wide variety of sizes available
  • IR (Infrared) capability

PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) Camera

  • Used with live guard or surveillance specialist operating the security systems
  • Pan and tilt rotation
  • Smart tracking features
  • Powerful zoom and autofocus

What To Consider
Choosing the right CCTV camera for your property is important. You want to evaluate your needs to determine where you will place these cameras as well as their primary use in that location. Some factors to consider when choosing include the lens, sensor, and output resolution.

  • Lens

The lens will dictate the quality of the image. The appropriate lens will allow your camera to focus and bring in enough light to the sensor, providing clarity and the ability to better identify things such as faces and license plates. A zoom lens will allow for further detail since it can adjust the light as it reaches to sensor for enhanced pictures and flexibility.

  • Sensor

There are two types of sensors:

  1. CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor)
  2. CCD (charged coupled device) cameras

CCD are more expensive than CMOS and produce clearer images (ideal for identifying faces and license plates).

  • Output Resolution

Generally speaking, the more pixels, the better the picture. The highest resolution you can get is 700TL, but most cameras range between 300-550TVL. Be sure to match a resolution that your camera can produce because anything more is unnecessary.

Other Things To Consider:

  • Discreet Vs. Visible

Box cameras are easier to be seen and clearly tell passersby that they are being recorded, which acts as a great deterrent. Dome cameras, on the other hand, are smaller and more discreet, making them ideal for monitoring larger areas such as front or backyards.

  • Indoors Vs. Outdoors

Consider where you will place your cameras both indoors and outdoors. If you plan on placing them outdoors, you want to ensure they are in the best location and well protected (weatherproof and vandal proof housing). For indoor cameras, you want to make sure it will not be affected by things like grease or steam from the kitchen.

  • Lighting Conditions

Whether indoors or outdoors, lighting will always change so it is advised that you test different camera models to see what works best with your lighting conditions. You also want to check for any reflections or backlighting during day or night.

  • Image Clarity

This will depend on the size of the area you want to monitor. Thus, a camera situated in a small room need not be of high resolution. The resolution of your CCTV camera should reflect the landscape in order to provide effective images.

  • Audio?

This depends on your personal preference (you should also look into the laws regarding audio recording if applicable). Some CCTV systems allow you to speak to the intruders, or you can have audio or alarms sound automatically when they reach a certain point. These tactics are meant to scare the intruders away before they can cause damage.

If you need help choosing the right CCTV surveillance system, call 888-203-6294 and we will be happy to help! You may also browse our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com and connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Safeguard Your Video Surveillance System

While video surveillance systems protect us from potential intruders and dangers, without the proper safeguards, these systems can fall victim to hackers. In order to maintain the integrity of your video surveillance system and keep the cybercriminals at bay, you may want to consider following these tips to protect your surveillance system.

Choose Branded Video Cameras
If you invest in cameras that are not branded, you may not receive the necessary updates and security patches that often come with branded security cameras. This means that your non-branded cameras will remain susceptible to vulnerabilities and exploits. Play it safe and purchase branded cameras known for quality cyber security and be sure to routinely check for patches and updates.

Protect Your Surveillance Network
A major vulnerability of surveillance systems lies in open IP cameras. With these IP cameras located across your property and connected to your network, anyone can disconnect your cameras and connect a laptop or device and gain access to your entire network. To prevent this, lock down the MAC addresses that can connect to the network, allowing only your cameras to connect to your surveillance systems.

Setup VLANs
Never put your surveillance cameras on the same network as your workstation. Keep your security camera network isolated via VLANs and only allow the video recorders to communicate with the cameras.

Change The Default Camera Password
This seems like a no-brainer, however, it must be said. The default password is often readily available on the company’s website, thus, it is advised to change the default password to a strong one that you can remember.

Keep Separate Logins For Access & Admin Privileges
Along the same lines, you want to keep separate logins when it comes to access and administrative privileges. That way only the appropriate employees can gain access to the admin privileges, such as updating firmware or obtaining streaming video.

Do you have any other surveillance system tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock of affordable CCTV security cameras and video surveillance systems. To request a site survey or free quote, please call 888-203-6294.

Night Vision Security Camera Tips

Burglars often like to creep in the dark night in hopes of being undetected. This is precisely why night vision security cameras are so important. But keep in mind that the value of night vision cameras is directly connected to their effectiveness and performance. To employ the best night vision surveillance system, keep these things in mind.

  • IP Power

Remember that all IR CCTV cameras have a quoted maximum range. For example, these can range from 5m to 50m or longer. This range is the absolute maximum, meaning at these extremes, your image quality will not be its best. Measuring how far you need to see and then adding a third of that is recommended. For example, if you need to see 30m, it may be advised to invest in a 40m camera.

On the other hand, you don’t want the IR to be too powerful either. Most CCTV cameras cannot adjust the IR brightness, thus, if a subject is too close to a camera designed for long ranges, it will simply look too bright and/or washed out.

  • Wide Angle Lenses

IR LEDS are designed to brightly illuminate the center of an image, therefore, most of these cameras will not have a very wide angle of view. While this is not a common problem, some cameras will have varifocal lenses that can zoom out. With these, be aware that at the wide end of the zoom, the corners of your image will not be covered by night vision.

  • Field Of View

For all security cameras, you want to be sure that the field of view is clear of obstructions, but this is especially important for IR CCTV cameras. If there is something like a branch or leaves in the frame, the LEDs will focus on these and they will be brightly lit. The rest of the image will be made darker in order to compensate, thus rendering the image is useless.

  • Reflection For IR

In order for night vision cameras to work, IR needs something to reflect off of. When users point a camera into an empty field, they may be alarmed when there is nothing but darkness and may assume the night vision is not working, but this is not the case. When a subject moves into range, the IR can reflect off of it, and thus, the subject will be visible.

  • Mounting Height

Keep the height at which your cameras will be installed in mind when you are considering the power of your night vision. This is especially important when installing cameras above ground floor height. For example, if your car is parked 4m away from your house, and your camera is mounted 3m from the ground, the actual distance from camera to car is 5m.

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For a great selection of night vision security cameras and surveillance equipment, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with us directly.

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