SECURING YOUR HOME -- Tips, Tricks, and Tech for a Safer Home
In this article we will cover SECURITY CAMERAS

By C.M. -- Certified Ethical Hacker, Network+, Security+
March 01, 2020

There are few things most families want more than a nice, safe, place to raise their kids. It's a natural instinct most parents have that kicks in as soon as they get news that a baby is on the way. It doesn't take long before the new mom and dad are running around frantically cleaning, organizing, reorganizing, reorganizing everything that you just reorganized, cleaning some more, new furniture, new baby clothes, car seats, and more organizing. While we are all in different situations financially, geographically, demographically, etc., everyone basically just wants a secure place for the kids to grow.

One thing more and more people ask about these days is security cameras for the home. I recently installed a few dozen cameras at a local business where security is of vast importance and you really start to see the benefits of having every square foot covered. There are literally thousands of companies making and marketing security cameras for the home. And, while some are amazingly great products others have the picture quality of a child's Fisher Price phone cam. Some are also wireless. While wireless cameras offer an extremely easy installation method they have some serious drawbacks when it comes to security. I'm sure by now everyone has seen the news clips about families cameras being hacked with some stranger talking to them over their baby monitor speaker. That is scary! And, very creepy.

We will cover some of the most secure wireless camera and wired camera systems. While they take a little more effort to install, the security features of a wired camera system greatly surpass the wireless systems currently on the market. It is much more difficult to hack a system that has a direct cable link and is not broadcasting its signal and video feed into the airwaves. Wireless signals are like fireflies. If a hacker or criminal has the equipment or software to see those types of signals they can easily reach out and grab them. The other concern I have with wireless cams are the ones that store your video in 'the cloud.'

People need to realize 'the cloud' is not data floating around in space but servers with massive arrays of hard drives that keep and store your data. Sometimes they're in China. Sometimes they might be in a server 'farm' in a state next to you. Regardless of where the servers are located a server farm means that there is always someone else that can access your stored footage because there has to be someone that is the administrator or controller of that data. This is the primary reason we prefer the home systems with built in data cards or have the ability to add an external hard drive. This gives you, the homeowner, 100% control of your camera footage.

Camera location and placement is also very important. Try to remember when choosing locations to install that some need to be seen and some need to be hidden as much as possible. Depending on the situation you might need them all to be concealed. This can be accomplished with outdoor furniture, light fixtures, flowerpots, and various accessories people use as ornaments for decorating the outside of their house. Inside the home is much easier. You can conceal cameras behind picture frames, up on book shelves, cabinets, and other places only limited by your imagination. Be sure the angle of the cameras is set so the picture isn't obscured by the glare of the sun. It may take a few trial-and-error sessions before you figure out the optimal locations for your particular situation. Don't forget to check out our camera suggestions below!