When you decide to install home security cameras, where you place your cameras and how you use your footage is important to consider. For maximum protection, it is recommended to monitor common areas as well as possible points of entrance. While home surveillance is not banned, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid breaking the law.
Home Surveillance Concerns
Within your home, you do have the right to record without informing others, but there are very large exceptions to this rule. First, any area where a “reasonable expectation of privacy” is assumed is off limits. For example, if your home security cameras are monitoring your front yard and possibly the sidewalk and street, your expectation of privacy in these areas is low. On the other hand, bathrooms and bedrooms, where you may be in a state of undress, have a high expectation of privacy, and, thus, are prohibited.
Second, if your cameras enable audio recording, you may want to brush up on wiretapping laws. While these vary slightly from state to state, federal statutes allow audio recording so long as one of the two parties consents. This basically means that you, as the recorder, may know and give consent without informing the other party. However, some states, including California, require dual consent, meaning both parties must be aware and agree to be recorded.
In regards to recording burglars, any trespassers forfeit any expectation of privacy in your home. You may record the person, submit the footage to police, and use your video in court.
For cameras that run non-stop and record audio, you will want to warn any person that is allowed access to your home that these cameras are there and running, otherwise you may run the risk of breaking wiretapping laws. These people include family members, guests/visitors, delivery persons or installers.
The Consent Conundrum
You may now be wondering how you can lawfully gain dual consent. Will verbal consent or a surveillance sticker in the window suffice, or should you have every guest fill out a consent form upon entering? Unfortunately, consent for audio recordings must be given in written form. It is a common misconception that window decals or yard signs are sufficient means to gain consent, as it is expected for visitors to see and recognize them.
However, in a home setting, there may be an exception to the rule. With home cameras, it boils down to what you do, or intend to do, with your recordings. If you don’t do anything with the recording, it is likely that no one will know or care – no harm, no foul.
If you do something with the recording, things change. For example, say a celebrity is a guest in your home and now you have footage of this celebrity hanging out in your home. While selling this footage to a gossip magazine for profit may seem enticing, you will be breaking the law. First, consent was never given from this celebrity. Second, you cannot use a recording for commercial gain without the subject’s consent.
In regards to wiretapping, a possible solution is to simply turn off audio recording if your devices permit. However, why turn off a service that you have paid for? While thieves are usually fairly quiet while they work, using audio recording for eavesdropping may be beneficial (but puts forth yet another ethical dilemma).
Uses For Recordings
Let’s say you record someone in your home plotting a crime, or admitting to committing a crime. Most states allow you to use the recording to prevent a crime or prove that one was committed.
However, if the recording does not involve a crime and you decide to post it on YouTube or a social media site, you could be engaging in illegal activity. Using a recording for exploitive or commercial purposes (as in the previous celebrity example) may be misappropriation if not all parties consent. As a reminder, laws vary from state to state so please look into your own state’s laws.
Also, even within your own home, recording with the intention of blackmail is illegal.
Law enforcement has the right to ask for your home surveillance if they suspect illegal activity, and a warrant will likely be necessary. However, since most recordings are stored in the cloud, they may be able to go straight to the provider and obtain the footage, bypassing your permission to access.
What Should You Do?
To err on the side of caution, be sure that everyone entering your home is aware that the cameras are there, and avoid placing them in areas where privacy is expected. If you wish to withhold the information, so long as you do not do anything with the footage, you should be fine.
However, there are other reasons to be careful with the privacy of your security cameras. While you may not have the intention to do bad things, hackers may be able to access your cameras and broadcast your feed. To protect yourself and your guests, it is advised to take reasonable security precautions (ex. strong passwords, maintain security Wi-Fi network), and take the ethical high road when using new technology.
More and more people are turning to security systems to protect their homes. This is a smart decision, as security cameras will help you feel at ease whether you are in your home or on vacation. Unfortunately, when shopping for a security system, you may find that there are companies that seem genuine, but do not have the customer’s best interest at heart.
If you are thinking of investing in a home security system, here are some helpful tips to make sure you get the best deal on what you are looking for.
Consider your budget and what features are absolutely necessary and which you could live without. Credible businesses will work with you to build a home security system to suit your wants, needs and budget. You can ask for input or recommendations from friends, family, or even your home or renters insurance carrier.
Contact at least three companies before making a decision. This way you can compare prices and service, and ask important questions (ex. proper licensing, background checks for employees). This will also give you time to check reviews or do additional research before committing to a company.
If you have a budget, see what companies can offer for that price. Or you can compare prices from different businesses on a similar system. When getting quotes and prices, be sure ask about any other fees that may apply, for example, monthly monitoring fees or installation charges. It is also wise to consult with your insurance agent since home security systems may qualify you for a discount on homeowner’s premiums.
As with any contract, be sure that you fully understand it before signing. Know how long it will last, what it covers, terminations fees, etc. If your system is going to be monitored, those contracts typically last 2-5 years. Before you sign on to a long term contract, be sure to ask the major, important questions. For example, what happens if you are dissatisfied with the services provided? Is it possible to cancel the contract? As the consumer, what are your rights if the company is acquired by another company?
When shopping around, keep an eye out for these red flags:
Often times, trustworthy companies will give you time to think through the deal and make your decision. But if a seller is trying to pressure you into going with their company, don’t give in until you have done the proper research.
While some companies offer competitive prices, others may offer unbelievable deals that seem too good to be true. Most of the time, they are. In this case, “you get what you pay for” rings true. Whether it is defective equipment or a poor installation job, this is something to keep in mind when making your final decision.
If you cannot get a positive identification for your salesperson or the company, you may want to question using their services. Also, beware of sellers with no ties to their community. This could mean they might pull a disappearing act after mediocre services have been rendered and payments have been made.
It is always wise to check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints or reviews about the company. If there have been complaints, you can see how the company handled the situation, giving you a better idea of the customer service you can expect.
Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse great deals on our quality stock of security cameras, CCTV surveillance packages, and more. Call 1-888-203-6294 to learn more about our equipment and services.
Shopping on a budget for a security camera system? It doesn’t have to be that hard. Let SecurityCamExpert.com help you find smart solutions without breaking the bank.
Our selection of security cameras includes a variety of different styles with varying specifications. We carry security cameras starting as low as $20-$60 and reaching up to $250-$400 depending on specifications. You can pay for better quality and features, or you can get good quality for a decent price. It all depends on how much you can or are willing to spend.
For the most basic security system solutions, you can opt for dummy cameras. Our dummy cameras don’t exceed $30 so you can build a pseudo security system for cheap. Check out this SecurityMan Dummy Indoor Camera, it has a convincing look for a reasonable price.
If you want a functioning security system, dome security cameras and bullet security cameras are common types and low in price. Ours range from $40-$175, all dependent upon picture resolution, special features like night vision or audio components. Still, a great camera can be found for a cost-effective price. Our box cameras hover around the same range, but also require a separate purchase of camera lenses, which can add to overall cost.
As we move up the price ladder, our specialty security cameras like HD-SDI, high resolution, network IP and PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) start around $100 and go up from there. It should be understood that you are paying more for performance and abilities. These cameras offer much better picture and allow you to better manipulate your viewing range. License plate capture cameras have magnificent zoom abilities along with solid resolution, so they can start north of $200.
While SecurityCamExpert.com offers individual security cameras, we also offer great packaged deals which can significantly assist those on a tight budget. Our camera packages include the basics: DVR (with & without hard drives), cameras, cables and power supplies. Our 4 camera packages range from $249 up to $549, while our 8 camera packages range from $329 up to $567. Our 16 camera packages range from $836-915, but we also offer wireless camera bundles that start as low as $139 and up. Our 4 camera IP/hybrid camera package starts at $399 and you can add more cameras or accessories from there. You can explore our packages options here.
Shop our inventory online and you’ll find security cameras or systems that fit within your budget. Would you rather get a quote based on your needs? Fill out our Free CCTV System Quote and work with our staff to create a security system within your means. Feel free to call us at 1-888-203-6294 with any questions you may have.
Using indoor security cameras as part of your overall security system can help to put your worries at ease. Whether you’re keeping an eye on your home while you’re on vacation, or you’re making sure your employees are hard at work, implementing indoor security cameras can work in your favor.
There are a few things to consider when installing indoor security cameras. Choosing the right indoor security camera will yield the best, most effective security system. Placement of your indoor security camera plays an important role as well.
Indoor security cameras can rely on a fairly constant light source. However, if monitoring indoors at night is necessary, a camera with infrared lights, or night vision, is critical. This will enable you a suitable picture during the night, when lighting is poor.
Placement of your security cameras can play a large role also. If you’re watching for intruders, aiming cameras at doorways or possible entrances would be wise. Placement near windows could be beneficial as well. If you’re monitoring your workers, places with high foot traffic or aimed directly at cubicles could be productive. The presence alone could motivate your workers to be more conscious of their behavior and work ethic, thus yielding productivity.
There are different styles of indoor security cameras as well. Dome cameras generally tend to blend in better than bullet cameras. But this mainly depends on whether you want to covertly monitor your business or property or let it be known to others that they are under surveillance.
When utilizing security cameras in general, it is important to inform people they are under surveillance. This is most commonly done by posting warning signs. When utilizing hidden security cameras within your home, know that they are not permitted in areas where people assume a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms or bedrooms. While these are some general tips, it’s very important to look into your local state laws regarding surveillance.
For your indoor security camera needs, visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com. We carry a great stock of indoor security cameras and more. If you have any questions or need any help, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.
Ever wonder why people use dummy cameras or fake security cameras? Do you think “If they’re going to spend money on dummy cameras, why not buy real ones?” There are varying opinions on fake security cameras. Some find dummy security cameras pointless, while others find that their dummy cameras deter crimes for a cheaper price.
Some people believe that since the dummy cameras don’t work, it is useless to purchase and install them. It is reasonable to believe that, and to each his own, however, studies have shown that the presence of security cameras can help to prevent crimes.
For those who desire some type of security but can only afford so much, dummy security cameras could be a great alternative. While employing a real security camera will allow you to actually monitor what is going on in and around your property, the mere presence can do a sufficient job.
The trick is to purchase a convincing fake security camera. The right dummy cameras won’t blatantly look like fake security cameras. Most dummy cameras are made to look fairly realistic, but some cameras possess dead giveaways. It is best to steer clear of these dummy security cameras.
The key to choosing the right dummy security cameras is to know what a real security camera looks like. You want the dummy security cameras to be seen, but you don’t want it to be too obvious. You want people to think you’re trying to be covert, as you would with a real security camera. Most security cameras are built to be somewhat elusive, and placement can help with that. Installing dummy cameras in traditional surveillance camera spots will make them more convincing. Ambiguity can elicit apprehension, which is why fake security cameras can be a wise investment.
As long as you are well-informed about your choice and installation of fake security cameras, dummy security cameras may actually work for you. While they don’t capture criminal acts, they can avert possible criminals. Shop our selection of dummy cameras online at SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.