One thing that reinforced with most Florida businesses is the importance of good security camera system. A good video surveillance system is an imperative deterrent, regardless of your business model and security needs.
While any business owner can buy a few cameras, you may not get all you need without a little additional research and experience. Here are some of the top things to know before installing your system to both protect you and get the most protection.
Strategically Place Video Surveillance Cameras
Where you place your cameras is one of the most important aspects of your system. Strategic placement allows you to quickly identify and respond to threats and hazardous situations.
The obvious place to start is at your exits and entrances. This allows you to easily keep an eye on everyone who comes and goes from your business. Don’t neglect your emergency exits either, as these are a key place for loss.
Next, look at your high-value areas, such as a server room, stockroom, cash registers, or safe. For these areas, consider having multiple cameras to capture several angles, making it more difficult for someone to avoid being identified.
While you look at where you place your cameras, consider using wide-angle cameras and placement to help get more from each unit installed. Also, be sure there is ample lighting in the areas you need the most surveillance. If lighting is a problem, or you don’t want to leave lights on after-hours, be sure you get a high-definition low-light cameras.
Avoid Legally Sensitive Areas
We have all seen the stories of the people who have been caught in legal battles for installing cameras in sensitive areas. There is a reasonable expectation of privacy in certain areas, and it’s important to not violate these areas if you want to avoid legal battles in Florida. The places you want to avoid include:
- Changing rooms
- Locker rooms
- Exam rooms
- Hotel rooms
However, just because you cannot install cameras in these locations doesn’t mean you are without options. If you are concerned about any of these areas being a problem, consider installing cameras outside to capture people coming and going from them. This protects their privacy, but allows you to see if there is problematic activity.
Utilize Cloud Storage
Now, think about how you’ll store your footage. The standard used to be video cassettes that required changing daily. Then digital options brought in the use of DVR technology. This still limits the amount of storage available based on the hard drive size.
The newer option, which actually also provides the most security, is storing your footage directly to the cloud. This saves money by eliminating the need for countless tapes or removable hard drives. It also offers the most flexibility for your system, allowing for easy expansion without the cost of running countless miles of cable.
Authorized users can even gain access to footage, even while off-site. If something happens while you’re traveling, you can easily pull up the footage and try to piece together what happened. It also allows for providing evidence to law enforcement without ever giving up your copy.
Protect Against Hacking
One of the major concerns about installing IP cameras is the vulnerability to hacking. News stories have shown us how some people with nefarious intent hack into camera systems to plan or execute their attacks.
Fortunately, most of these issues are avoidable with good security practices, which include:
- Removing factory default usernames and passwords.
- Changing passwords at least every 90 days.
- Only connecting your cameras to a properly secured network.
- Installing cameras with an encrypted signal to prevent interception.
Consider Advanced Surveillance Features
In addition to the basic recording capability, you may want to consider some advanced features. These help expand how well your system actively serves your business rather than passively monitors.
AI technology allows the system to actively monitor what’s going on and alert you to potential hazards. This is especially helpful for SMBs who may not have someone watching the camera feed 24/7.
Invest a security camera model with adjustable angles to get the best picture possible. These allow you to pan, tilt, and zoom so that you can further investigate problems.
While you may be able to review footage from the cloud, consider installing remote access video surveillance cameras. This allows you to watch in real-time what is happening from an app on your mobile device. This is especially helpful for middle-of-the-night security alarms so that you can help guide emergency responders.