These days, IP security cameras are much easier to use and are more commonly utilized for home security. Whether home owners want to watch their property or their pets, IP security cameras seem to be the surveillance solution of choice.
Unfortunately, these home security systems are often targeted by hackers and bots. To better safeguard your IP cameras and privacy, check out these helpful IP security camera tips.
Modern IP security cameras provide user-upgradeable firmware. When a security vulnerability is found, the manufacturer will fix it by issuing a firmware update. If your cameras are operating with an older version, they may be vulnerable to exploitation from hackers or online voyeurs. Always be sure that your firmware is up to date and routinely check for updates to protect your system.
Keep Cameras Local
The concept is simple – If you are worried about your live feed ending up on the internet, do not connect your cameras to the internet.
To protect your privacy, keep your security cameras on a local network and assign them non-routable internal IP addresses (ex. 192.168.0.5 or the like). But even then, your cameras may still be exposed by camera software that sets up port forwarding or uses UPNP to expose your cameras to the internet. Make sure your cameras are set up on local-only mode – consult your installer or check the manufacturer’s website to learn how.
Assign Passwords To Cameras
All too often, users forget to add password protection on their IP cameras, and sadly, this is not usually turned on by default. Without this, IP cameras are left wide open and vulnerable.
Luckily, most cameras offer at least some form of basic authentication, and although it may not be much, it is better than nothing. Remember to protect your cameras by assigning a username and strong password and changing it periodically.
We cannot stress this enough – Always, always, ALWAYS change the default usernames and password for your devices. In case you didn’t know, the default admin name and password for your IP camera is usually available on the manufacturer’s website in the support section. That said, if you don’t change these defaults, anyone could potentially access your security system, view your feeds, and control your cameras.
If you’re using a wireless camera, you should only connect it to a WPA2-encrypted wireless network. This will minimize the risk of wireless eavesdroppers connecting to your network and accessing your video feeds.
Be Mindful Of Locations
Don’t place IP security cameras in areas of your home that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with strangers seeing. Regardless of the security measures to protect your camera feeds, there is always a possibility of getting blind-sided by a Zero-Day vulnerability that hasn’t been found by the manufacturer yet.
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After you purchase and install a home security camera system, it is important to maintain it in order to preserve its quality and performance. From the surveillance cameras to the cables to video storage, all parts must be working properly to ensure optimal surveillance and security. Here are some helpful maintenance and troubleshooting tips for your surveillance system.
Check your hard drive regularly by simply playing back recent video. To make sure your cameras are properly recording, check the field of view and filter through different dates and times. Make sure you are getting the proper recording duration. A surefire sign that something is wrong is if the duration of footage stored has significantly decreased. For example, you used to get weeks or months of footage, but now it seems you are only getting a few days worth.
Cooling fans assist in preventing your DVR from overheating. Unfortunately, when they suck in the cool air, dust begins to build up as well. The accumulation of dust can damage the fan, resulting in overheating. Cleaning your cooling fan regularly can prevent this and is relatively easy. Computer dust sprays are available at many computer stores and you simply aim at the vent areas and spray.
The IR (Infrared) lights on your security cameras tend to attract spiders and bugs. Because of this, spiders tend to build their webs around the cameras in order to catch the bugs attracted to the light. Consequently, these spider webs interfere with your videos. Check your playback or live feed to see which cameras are affected. If you cannot kick the problem, it may be better to use cameras without IR and install a separate light source to illuminate the area.
Every so often, you should use a soft cloth or wipe to remove any dust or debris and clean the camera lens. A dust mop with a long handle can help you reach higher mounted cameras that are typically out of reach.
Camera sensors and other parts can wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. In addition, camera connections may need maintenance as environmental factors such as heat, cold, and moisture can affect them. If you see any signs of connections issues, such as lines in the image, flickering or other image issues, you should address these immediately to prevent further damage or total image loss.
Issue: Security cameras are out but the DVR is working.
Issue: DVR or NVR is not reachable by Internet (no phone or computer access).
Issue: DVR is not playing back video.
If you need help choosing the right security cameras for your property as well as installation services, feel free to contact us! You may browse our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to schedule a site survey or get a free quote. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Whether you rent or own your home, you want to make the property as unattractive as possible. Things like outdoor lighting, guard dogs, alarms and security systems act as deterrents for would-be burglars and trespassers. Unfortunately, common mistakes can weaken your security measures. Discover the most common security mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Although they may take away from your home’s aesthetic, your security cameras should be visible from the street. One of the benefits of security cameras is that they act as a deterrent for burglars. By hiding your cameras, you negate that benefit. And even if they do not succeed at discouraging thieves, you will have video footage that can help to identify the trespassers.
But remember, you want the cameras to be visible, but also out of reach to prevent tampering and vandalism. A sign warning that your property is under surveillance can also help.
Choosing the right locations for your security cameras may seem easy, but there are lots of factors to take into account. Security cameras should be able to provide proper coverage around the clock. You need to consider direct sunlight in the afternoon, which can washout the footage, or how things such as rain, snow, or tree branches, may compromise the field of view and produce unusable footage. In addition, internet-connected smart cameras need to be installed where there is strong and consistent Wi-Fi signal.
Keep your camera in a sheltered area that’s in the shade all day. You may even want to invest in camera housing for added protection. Also, test your live feed in a variety of weather conditions to ensure your cameras produce usable footage in all situations.
While low-priced systems may seem appealing, often times you get what you pay for. These systems may not come with the special features you want or need, but if budget constraints limit your options, something is better than nothing. However, if you have a more flexible budget, you should be sure your basic needs are met.
The most important takeaway: do your research. Read reviews and users’ feedback, search online for examples of the video output, and look into warranties and technical support should you need it in the future. You should trust that you are investing your time and money into a quality camera that will satisfy your surveillance needs.
When you have an internet-connected system, you are able to access your feed remotely. A default username and password are used for the initial access. A common mistake is that users do not change these default username and passwords, which are usually available on the manufacturer’s website. Hackers know this and if you fail to change these, they can gain access to your feed. From there, they can learn about your daily routines and get an idea of the layout of your home.
It is strongly advised to change the defaults as soon as possible and create a password that is unique, but that you can remember.
Professional installation can help you avoid many of the aforementioned mistakes. They will choose appropriate locations for your cameras based on your needs and the environmental factors. If your cameras aren’t functioning properly, they will come back to fix the issue and most companies will offer a warranty. If you opt for a DIY installation, you are responsible for any issues that arise.
Need help finding the right security system for you? Choose SecurityCamExpert.com! We can guide you through the process of choosing the security cameras that will best suit your needs. If you are in Southern California, we can even install the system for you. Visit us online or call 888-203-6294 to learn more. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
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 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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IP cameras offer excellent benefits for home security, including ease of installation and advanced functions. However, if not installed or deployed properly, these benefits can be negated.
Whether you are installing your own security system, or you are having it professionally installed, be sure that the right cable is being used and that it is installed correctly.
Here are more tips for IP security camera installation:
Aside from the proper cable, you must take the surroundings of your security camera placement into consideration. Be sure that the IP cameras you choose are suitable for the environment in which you install it.
If you are looking for affordable prices on professional security camera installation, give us a call today 888-203-6294. You can also browse our CCTV surveillance selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com. Stay connected with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Sometimes you end up paying more than you should when it comes to home security systems. Whether it is from lack of research or sheer convenience, there are ways to effectively invest in your home security without breaking the bank. Review these common home security mistakes to ensure you are getting the most for your money.
• Mistake: Your first option was your only option.
Don’t just go with the first company you find -do your research. Check out both local and national companies to compare rates and get free quotes when possible. This step will help you discover who truly values your security versus those looking for a big sale.
• Mistake: You didn’t consider lifestyle changes.
Aside from thinking about your current needs, you should also consider your future plans. For example, if you’re planning on growing your family, you may want more surveillance in the nursery. Or, if you’re single, you may relocate a few times before settling in to a spot, so you may want to inquire about cancellation or relocation services.
• Mistake: You’re overlapping cameras.
While the idea of having multiple angles on entryways and high traffic areas sounds safer, it could be unnecessary. Focus more on getting the best angles with the least amount of cameras. This will save you money on equipment and could make it easier to manage your system.
• Mistake: You didn’t talk about discounts.
When it comes to discounts, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You could be missing out on special deals and offers, such as a Veteran or senior citizen discount, or you may even be able to work out a payment plan rather than paying it all up front.
• Mistake: You haven’t updated your insurance.
No matter what kind of equipment you choose, be sure to let your home insurance provider know. These systems may add value to your home, and could possibly save you some cash on your monthly payment. But before committing to system, you should check with your provider.
• Mistake: You have more than you need.
In relation to the overlapping cameras, you may have opted for the most comprehensive system when you really could do with a simple set up. Evaluate your needs, such as how many entry points you wish to monitor, and you can tailor your system accordingly. Remember that when it comes to security cameras, choose quality over quantity.
If you’ve made any of these mistakes, you can still make them right. If you need help, please feel free to call us at 888-203-6294. We can help with surveillance equipment, site surveys, and security camera installation. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection and connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Security cameras placed outdoors allow you to monitor your property while acting as a deterrent for trespassing. But what happens if criminals proceed anyways?
Indoor security cameras will show you what happens when the intruders get in. Should theft or damage occur, you are left with video evidence of the crimes to assist in capturing the criminals.
For everyday use, indoor security cameras help to monitor daily activities, such as kids returning home from school, or checking in on pets while you’re at work.
While there are several benefits of indoor cameras, it may be difficult discerning the most effective places to install them. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the best locations for your indoor security cameras.
Statistics show that the most common entry points for burglars are through first-floor doors or windows, thus, your main entrances should be your top priorities. The front door, back door, garage door, and other first-floor exterior doors and windows should be equipped with some type of security (ex. locks). If possible, installing security cameras to cover all of these spots would be ideal.
For a great selection on indoor security cameras and more, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For more information on site surveys and our installation services, please call 888-203-6294.
Summer is here and Independence Day is right around the corner. Most people celebrate with fireworks, whether they watch professional public displays or they light their own. While the former is encouraged, those who choose the latter should be extra cautious. Fireworks can be very dangerous if not handled properly. Before you put on your own fireworks show, please review these fireworks safety tips.
Please remember, we will be closed on Tuesday July 4, 2017, for the holiday. Normal hours will resume on Wednesday July 5, 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. From everyone at SecurityCamExpert.com, please enjoy a safe & happy 4th of July!