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Surveillance

Campus Surveillance & Security Measures

As students head back to school, it is important to consider campus security and how we can keep our children safe. Surveillance camera systems on campus are important assets in helping to make schools safer – here’s why.

Deter Crime
The mere presence of security cameras is known to reduce criminal activity. Bottom line, surveillance poses a risk of getting caught and criminals simply don’t want that.

Prevent Vandalism & Theft
Because schools and campuses have predictable off hours, it is easy for vandals and thieves to target them. However, strategically placed security cameras and alarm systems can help to prevent this type of activity.

Eliminate Unauthorized Intruders
By monitoring and evaluating surveillance footage, you can more easily identify persons that do not belong in the area.

Monitor Entrances, Exits & Corridors
Since foot traffic is high during the school day, most entrances and exits must remain unlocked, making them vulnerable to intruders. Keeping an eye on these, as well as hallways and corridors, will help identify who is or has been on school property as well as what they did or are doing there.

Visitor Monitoring
Any visitor can pose a potential threat, and surveillance camera footage can keep track of that. Having eyes on the situation allows for quick response if any misbehavior or misconduct occurs.

We carry a wide variety of security cameras and surveillance packages for your home, school, or business. Visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock, or call 888-203-6294 to schedule a site survey or request a free quote. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

What You Need To Know About Cloud Cameras

What are cloud cameras and why should you invest in them?

A cloud-based security camera, or cloud camera, is a security camera that is closely related to the IP camera. Both cloud and IP cameras connect to the internet, however, with cloud cameras, you need not assign IP addresses to each camera. Cloud cameras make it simple – all they need is a power cord and an Ethernet cable and you’re set. Cloud cameras will come with software or an app that enables streaming and remote camera management via smart device or computer.

On the upside, cloud cameras offer excellent benefits for users. First of all, these cameras are extremely easy to set up as they essentially plug-and-play. They are compact, affordable and accessible.

Cloud-based cameras also allow you to access your video feed virtually anytime from any place. While IP cameras can also provide this benefit, they require a bit more extensive set up to ensure proper performance and security.

In addition, cloud cameras boast automatic updates, device software improvements, and security vulnerability patching. Maintaining any additional hardware and software is no longer a worry.

With these advantages come some disadvantages. Cloud cameras come with monthly fees and limited functionality depending on how much you are willing to pay. And your provider may raise prices at any time, thus you must pay the higher price or purchase a different camera.

Privacy concerns and security risks are another factor, as your video feed is available on an external server. Also, because your cloud camera will be constantly sending data over the internet, it can slow down connection for other internet activities. For those in areas with slow service or data caps, cloud cameras may not be a feasible option.

The important thing to remember is that there are numerous security cameras with different features on the market. You should evaluate your needs and research different types of cameras to determine which type is right for you. If you need some help or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294. You can also browse our selection of top quality security cameras at cost-effective prices online at SecurityCamExpert.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Improve Your Business Surveillance System

Video surveillance is a great asset for businesses, keeping properties, inventory, and employees safe. Should anything happen, security cameras provide video footage and evidence to help capture suspects. And while your surveillance systems are meant to secure your business, you must also protect and maintain your system to ensure optimal performance. Here are some smart business surveillance tips.

Secure Your Surveillance System From Hackers
Many business surveillance systems utilize IP security cameras, which require Internet connection to allow you to view your feed remotely. Unfortunately, this makes IP surveillance systems susceptible to hackers. Thankfully, there are ways to keep them at bay:

  • Change your system password every three months and practice proper password management.
  • Never keep default usernames and passwords. These can easily be found online, thus, leaving them in place gives hackers free admission to your system.
  • Secure your business network – an unsecure network risks leaving open access points in your system, giving hackers the opportunity to access your surveillance cameras.
  • Never connect your cameras to a public network. Hackers can easily access information (like video credentials) through shared networks.
  • Choose cameras with encrypted signals – encryption disguises information sent over the internet, making it challenging for hackers to identify valuable data.

Avoid Video Surveillance Legal Liabilities
As long as you inform employees and customers that they are being recorded, as well as refrain from monitoring areas with a reasonable expectation of privacy, your security system should be free from legal liabilities. Here are the areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy:

  • Bathrooms
  • Dressing rooms
  • Exam rooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Hotel rooms

Remember, the laws vary from state to state. Be sure you fully understand the laws regarding video surveillance, do not invade customer and employee privacy, and review the camera privacy laws in your state.

Strategically Place Cameras
Security cameras locations are crucial for complying with laws, as well as the effectiveness of your system. Be sure your camera locations meet these requirements:

  • Install cameras in sensible areas, such as offices, stockrooms, behind cash registers, above entrances and exits.
  • Place security cameras under sufficient lighting to provide clear quality images.
  • Position cameras to capture wide angles for fuller surveillance coverage.

Store Video Footage In The Cloud
Cloud storage solutions offer excellent benefits and are a great alternative to traditional analog systems. You may consider employing cloud solutions as they are:

  • Cost-effective – Cloud storage eliminates the need for onsite digital video recorders (DVR) or network video recorders (NVR).
  • Accessible – When your data is stored in the cloud, it can be viewed remotely via smartphone, tablet, or desktop web browser any time.
  • Flexible – New users, locations, and cameras can be easily added to your existing infrastructure without rewiring.

Increase Business Security With Additional Camera Features
Additional features can help to enhance your surveillance system overall. Some additional benefits include:

  • Adjustable Angles – PTZ cameras can pan, tilt and zoom and cameras that are mobile allow for multiple views.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology – Security cameras hosted on monitoring platforms powered by AI alert users about important or unusual events.
  • Day/Night Capabilities -Night vision cameras utilize infrared LEDs and are helpful for those who need around the clock surveillance.
  • High Resolution – These cameras provide the best quality images.
  • IP-based vs. Wired – No video cables are required for IP systems.
  • Weatherproof – Weatherproof cameras and housing are built to withstand outdoor conditions to extend performance.
  • Remote Access – With the mobile app, you can use your smartphone to view footage and remotely control your system.

We offer a wide variety of affordable security cameras and surveillance systems – browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to speak with one of our experts. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Summer Water Safety

Water safety is especially important in the summertime, when beach and pool days and lake trips are abundant. Keep children and loved ones safe by heeding these essential water safety tips.

General Tips

  • Look for U.S. Coast Guard approved labels.
    Lifejackets should have labels that read “US Coast Guard Approved” or “USCG approved,” otherwise you can assume they are not safe. As your child grows, their lifejacket should meet their new weight, and should be replaced when rips, tears, or fraying straps are present. And remember, any items filled with air (arm floaties, rafts) are not considered life saving devices.
  • Assign adult, non-distracted Water Watchers.
    At least one adult, non-distracted Water Watcher should be monitoring children in and around water at all times with no distractions (conversations, cell phone, reading, etc.). The Water Watcher should always be within reach and is usually safest in the pool with the children. For social gatherings, 10-15 minute Water Watcher shifts are recommended. And remember, if a child goes missing, always check the pool/water first.
  • Take family CPR lessons.
    Learning CPR can make a difference while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Schedule water safety & swim lessons.
    Drownings and near-drownings are much more likely to occur with children that don’t know how to swim or are being supervised by adults that don’t know how to swim. While there are still risks with children who know how to swim, knowing how to and practicing proper water safety can significantly reduce the risks.

Open Water

  • Have a safety plan in place.
    Whether you’re at the lake or the beach, you should implement a safety plan before anyone gets anywhere near the water. The “Toe In/Vest On” policy is recommended, which basically means that if a toe is in the water, a life jacket must be on.
  • Know the water conditions.
    Conditions in lakes and oceans can vary on a daily basis. From clear to murky and calm to rough waters, it’s important to know the conditions before getting in.

Pools

  • Install four-sided fences with self-latching gates.
    Implementing this safety mechanism could prevent 50-90% of childhood drowning and near-drowning accidents. The fence should at least be 4 feet (ideally 5 feet) high with a self-closing gate that only opens out. In addition, pool gates should have child proof locks and remain locked when the pool is not in use. If you have pool and/or spa covers, they should be strong enough to support the weight of multiple children. Any doggie doors that have direct access to the pool area should be rerouted as well.
  • Create and follow all pool rules.
    Your guest should understand your expectations about watching children in the water and abide by your pool rules. You may even consider creating a Water Watcher schedule so that non-distracted adult Water Watchers can work in 10-15 minute shifts.
  • Use pool/door/child alarms.
    Doors and windows that open directly to the pool area should be equipped with alarms. These alarms can alert you when children may be going outside to the pool. Furthermore, pool surface alarms can alert you when anyone or anything falls into the pool. For added security, you can even put an alarm on your child that is activated when they are submersed.
  • Update pool drains and cleaning systems.
    Pool drains and other cleaning equipment have powerful suction that could create a dangerous situation and should be avoided. Because swimsuit straps, hair, and other items can easily get caught, safety drain covers should be used as a prevention method.

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Keep an eye on your pool and property with quality security cameras from SecurityCamExpert.com. Let us help you choose the right surveillance system to suit your needs and we can take care of the installation, too! To learn more about our products and services, please call 888-203-6294.

Avoid These Surveillance Mistakes

Installing a home surveillance system can be rewarding, providing you a sense of security and peace of mind. However, the process of choosing, installing and using the right cameras is a delicate task. It’s important to evaluate your needs, understand what features will help you accomplish your goals, and execute installation and use correctly. Avoid errors in the process by reviewing these common security camera mistakes.

  • Mistake: Forgetting to secure indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras.
    If you fail to secure your surveillance cameras, they can be susceptible to tampering and vandalism. To keep your equipment safe, install your cameras at least 9 feet above the ground. You may also want to consider investing in vandal proof and weather proof housing, especially for outdoor cameras.
  • Mistake: Thinking cameras are able to multitask.
    They cannot. When you are installing your security cameras, you must think of the task you want your camera to perform and where to place it. Prepare a diagram for your home security system so you can plan out camera placement. This will also allow you to figure out how many and what type of cameras you need for optimum security.
  • Mistake: Placing cameras at the highest point.
    While this tactic will give you a larger view, you will not a get a detailed look at any person’s features, making it impossible to identify potential criminals. You may want to try a PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) security camera which allows you to view large areas while enabling zoom for a more detailed look without compromising quality.
  • Mistake: Using cameras without Wide Dynamic Range at doorways and windows.
    Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) plays a big role when part of an image is extremely dark but another part is bright. Since lighting conditions indoors and outdoors can vary drastically, this feature is especially essentials for cameras near windows and doorways.
  • Mistake: Failing to provide enough lighting.
    If you require night time monitoring, you should invest in night vision security cameras. However, if your camera does not have night vision, be sure to provide enough lighting so that your cameras can record clear footage. Remember, putting cameras too close to bright lights will cause the picture to be disrupted. Also, if an outdoor camera is pointing to direct sunlight, this will cause stripes in the images.

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SecurityCamExpert.com offers quality surveillance equipment along with expert installation! Visit us online to browse our stock or call 888-203-6294 to request a FREE quote or schedule a site survey.

Should You Install Indoor Security Cameras?

Security cameras offer home and business owners peace of mind by allowing vigilance over properties. As a homeowner, installing an indoor security camera can help you check in on pets or simply watch over your home while you’re away. Although these benefits are appealing, there are a few things to consider before deciding on installing indoor security cameras.

Worries
It’s true that security cameras are meant to put your worries at ease, but at the same time, they can feed your anxiety. Because you can check in on things at any time, you may find yourself obsessively monitoring your feed.

To minimize this, set up a camera with motion detection so that it may alert you when there is activity. If you have pets, you can filter out their activity so that you are not inundated with false alarms.

Hackers
With internet-connected security cameras, you run the risk of hackers gaining access to your camera. This type of attack is much more common with cameras that have little to no built-in security. Luckily, there are ways to combat these risks. First, you should invest in well-know, higher quality security cameras that have better built-in security. Once you have chosen a camera, change any default logins and use strong, hard-to guess passwords. Also, be sure that your home Wi-Fi network is also highly protected.

Pets
As previously mentioned, indoor security cameras provide an easy way to keep an eye on your pets when you’re away. But when it comes to motion detection, they can easily trigger false alarms. Once you adjust your settings to accommodate pet activity, the security camera can be a great help. Whether you’re missing your pet while you’re away or if you’re working at home, security cameras allow you to see what they are up to.

Valuables
Of course, security cameras are meant to keep you safe from burglars. Their presence alone can help to deter criminal behavior. But in the case that it does not, it can provide useful footage that can be submitted as evidence.

Do you have security cameras installed at your home or business? How have they helped? Share your experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of quality IP and HD security cameras for your home or business, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!

The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Nanny Cams

Nanny cams can give parents peace of mind when they’re away from home. They can be hidden or installed in plain sight to monitor the nanny and children’s activities and behaviors. While some see as it as helpful, others may see it as an invasion of privacy or an uncomfortable situation.

Of course, there are rules and regulations in place to combat these issues. Recording a video of anything that happens in your home is legal, however, you must have a legitimate reason for doing it. Monitoring your baby or caregiver falls into that category, but regardless of whether the surveillance camera is hidden or not, they must be located in public areas of the house such as the kitchen or living room. Video recording in areas where there is an expectation of privacy (such as the bathroom or your bedroom) is not permitted.

When it comes to audio recording, you must inform and get the consent of the person being recorded. Because of this, often times nanny cams do not record audio. If you do record a video with audio that has evidence of abuse, the footage would be inadmissible in court and you could be liable for breaking privacy laws.

With that said, if used appropriately and within legal limitations, nanny cams can be a useful tool for parents. If you are considering installing a nanny cam, here are some of the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Peace Of Mind
    Especially with new parents, it can be hard leaving your children in someone else’s care. With a nanny cam, you can ease your worries by checking in on your children to see that they are safe.
  • Nanny Behavior
    If your children are young, they may not be able to tell you what is happening while you’re away. You can’t always rely on feedback from friends and neighbors who may see your children and nanny together at the park or school. The nanny cam allows you to monitor behavior and address any issues accordingly.
  • Connection
    For parents who feel guilty for going back to work and missing quality time with their children, nanny cams can enable them to feel more of a connection as they can periodically check in and see what their kids are up to.

Cons

  • Trust
    Aside from privacy issues, the person being recorded may feel violated or offended if they find a hidden camera. To combat this issue, it’s best if you are upfront and honest about your plans to install a nanny cam. Most nannies are comfortable working in the presence of a nanny cam.
  • Misuse
    Your nanny cam should be used to deter or prevent potential neglect or abuse, not used to capture it. Communicate your expectations and take action if you feel something isn’t right.
  • Legalities
    As mentioned, you must abide by the law. Look into your state’s laws regarding privacy and recording and be sure that your nanny cams and surveillance system are in compliance.

How have nanny cams helped you as a parent? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Need help choosing the right nanny cam or surveillance system for you? Contact us at 888-203-6294 and we will be happy to discuss your options. You may also browse our stock of IP security cameras and other surveillance equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com.

Workplace Surveillance

Some may argue that video surveillance in the workplace can be an invasion of privacy. However, as long as employee privacy is respected and existing surveillance laws are abided by, it can actually benefit both the employer and employees. Aside from decreasing misconduct and increasing safety, workplace surveillance has its advantages.

  • Reduce Risk Of Employee Theft & Fraud

Employee theft, also known as “shrinkage,” is a growing problem for businesses. It is a bigger threat than identity theft and cyber fraud according to the FBI. In addition, fraud by employees is still a major issue, mainly for businesses in the financial and retail sector.

Video surveillance systems work to combat these issues, providing a way to keep a watchful eye over employees while producing video evidence when necessary.

  • Improve Operations & Productivity

Businesses thrive on success and profits, therefore, anything that can increase productivity and improve operations is good thing. Installing security cameras in the workplace influences employees to stay on task, thus, plays a role in productivity and efficiency.

  • Ward Off Illegal Visitors

Security cameras not only safeguard the business, but work to keep employees safe and protected. An effective surveillance system will help deter intruders and provide video evidence should a break-in or other incident occur. Security cameras can also monitor the different visitors your business has throughout the day.

  • Enhance Safety

Workplace safety is expected and non-negotiable. All employees should feel safe in the workplace and security cameras can enhance that feeling. When safety measures are blatantly disregarded, management can review these instances and deal with them accordingly to prevent any unnecessary accidents in the future.

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Whether you’re looking for a surveillance system for your home or business, let us help you! Visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call us at 888-203-6294 for more information or to request a FREE quote!

Secure Your Home

When was the last time you evaluated your home security? With summer, and likely a vacation or two, around the corner, now is a great to time reassess your home security measures and upgrade or improve them as needed.

Doors
A surprising amount of burglars enter homes through the front door, so be sure that all of your doors (especially the front door) are strong and secure. Inspect the door frame, ensure the hinges are protected, and if your door has a mail slot, make sure someone can’t reach through and unlock the door.

To further safeguard your doors and entryways, you can install a deadbolt and/or add a strike plate. You can even upgrade to smart locks or install a doorbell camera. And if you have any sliding glass doors, remember to reinforce them by using a window bar or dowel in the track. Or you can invest in a door sensor or glass break sensor, which will alert you if the door is opened or tampered with.

Windows
Another common entry point for burglars is windows. And unfortunately, window latches and locks can be flimsy and rather ineffective. To better secure your windows, install improved locks or key-operated levers, or implement window bars. You can even reinforce the glass with window security film and install window or glass break sensors. In addition, you can plant prickly bushes under first-floor windows, but be sure to keep them trimmed.

Lighting & Landscape
Intruders want to be as inconspicuous as possible, so why not shine a light on them? Outdoor lighting can help to keep burglars at bay. Light up your yard (front and back) and pathways and place lights near the garage or other outdoor structures. Motion-activated lighting, solar-powered lights and timers can be helpful as well.

While the lights help to prevent burglars from hiding in the darkness, maintaining your landscape plays an important role, too. Be sure that trees and shrubs are trimmed down to eliminate any hiding spots. If there are trees near windows, remove them or add extra security to those windows. And remember to put away stools, ladders, and other tools and lock your gates and sheds.

Garage
An attached garage offers another way to access your house. But even if it is detached, burglars know there’s likely good stuff stored in there. You should always lock all doors to the garage, both interior and exterior. Consider keeping your garage door opener in the house. That way, a burglar can’t steal it from your car. You may even consider upgrading to a smart garage door opener, which alerts you when the door is opened or closed and enables you to control it remotely.

Wi-Fi Network
Securing your home wireless network is also an important part of your overall home security. To keep hackers off your home network, be sure to secure your wireless router and enable WPA (Wi-Fi protected Access) or WPA2 encryption. You should also rename and hide your network, use a firewall, install antivirus and anti-malware protection, and always create strong passwords and change them periodically.

Security System
These days, you can find a home security system that suits your needs and budget. Depending on your unique situation, you may consider DIY versus professional installation, along with the upfront and monthly costs, and the different features offered.

If they are not part of your security system, you may want to install security cameras outdoors, indoors, or both. Some features to look for include remote access, motion detection, night vision, and Wi-Fi capability. If you need assistance, you can visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call us at 888-203-6294.

Your security is our priority. Contact us to learn more about our products and installation services, site surveys, or to request a FREE quote! You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Upgrading Security Camera Systems

It’s about time to upgrade your analog cameras to HD-CVI or IP security cameras. By upgrading, you are equipping your home or business with more advanced surveillance solutions. These advanced cameras deliver top quality, with 720p or 1.3 Megapixel and up to 4K resolution. Worried about the compatibility with your current system and the new cameras? Luckily, there are products out there to aid in a smooth transition. And if you have any questions, you can always call SecurityCamExpert.com at 888-203-6294.

Here are some tips to help you ease into a better quality surveillance camera system.

Storage
If you are only upgrading a few cameras, hybrid and tribrid DVRs allow you to use new HD cameras with your existing equipment. However, higher resolution cameras will use more disk space.

If you want to maximize your storage space, you may want to consider is decreasing the frames per second at which you are currently recording. For example, if you are recording at 30 frames per second, you may scale that back to 15 frames per second. You will save storage space while still producing quality images.

In addition, if you are currently recording around the clock, you may want to switch it to motion-only. This setting allows your camera to remain in standby mode and only record when motion is detected.

Wireless Bridge
A wireless bridge is used when you want to install a camera in an area where it is impossible to run cables. It can be set up as a transmitter or a receiver. Each camera needs one transmitter, but the receiver can receive signals from multiple transmitters.

But remember, this will only work with network or IP cameras. And for most cameras, you will still need a power source.

Baluns
You may be hesitant to upgrade because wiring your system can be a costly hassle, however, baluns could be the easy and convenient answer.

Your existing cables depend on the type of security camera system you have. Most IP camera systems use CAT5 or CAT6, while traditional analog systems and HD-CVI systems run on cables more commonly known as Siamese cable (which is coaxial cable along with and 18/2 power wire).

A balun is a type of converter that you put on each end of your existing cable. Depending on the type, it will either allow you to convert CAT5 to an analog signal or use your analog cables with IP cameras.

DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Service)
For remote access and viewing of your surveillance footage, you need to connect your system to your home or business IP address. Unfortunately, these are usually provided by your internet service provider (ISP) and they will often change this IP address, making it difficult for you to connect to your system.

The DDNS is a personal domain name (ex. “YourLastName.DDNS-service.com”) which will always resolve back to your home IP address regardless of what the IP address is, even after it has changed. Thankfully, a DDNS configuration is built-in most new security recorders, so when your home IP address changes it will contact the DDNS service and update it so that your domain name will always resolve back to your home or business.

If you need helping choosing a new security camera system for your home or business, please feel free to contact us! You can browse our stock online or give us a call to speak with one of our representatives directly. You may also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Your security is our priority and we are always happy to help.

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