When looking at securing and protecting your business, video surveillance is a vital and effective security solution. It provides peace of mind with accessibility to you as the business owner.
If you are a business looking to protect your premises it is worth asking a company with experience. You need to find a company that is expert in providing systems from intruder detection, all the way to full fire safety packages in order to ensure you have every angle covered. The systems they provide need to have proven track records for success and it is also a bonus if they are very quick and easy to install. There are lots of different factors to consider when thinking about your surveillance, so it is important to look at all the options and you may even want to get ideas from local residents too! There are also lots of factors to consider when setting surveillance systems up – you need to keep in mind privacy laws, and how you are going to protect them from unauthorised personnel gaining access to your systems and taking vital data. To ensure you’re making the most out of your surveillance system here are a few top tips.
1. Place Cameras Strategically
When placing your cameras, you need to place them where, if something was to happen, you can easily identify and respond to the potentially hazardous situation. For example,
- Install them in high risk areas such as, behind cash registers, offices, stockrooms, above entrances and exits.
- Situate them in a position that allows your surveillance to capture a wider angle covering a wider area.
- Place under sufficient lighting.
As well as thinking where the best places for a camera would be, you also need to make sure you are protecting the privacy of your employees and customers. Be mindful where they rightfully expect privacy and avoid placing them in the following areas:
- Dressing rooms
- Rooms where exams may take place
- Locker rooms
- Hotel rooms
Before you start deciding where to place your cameras, it is also good practice to check what laws apply in your country regarding surveillance and the do’s and don’ts to ensure you don’t invade customers or employees’ privacy.
2. Up in The Cloud
The Cloud is a perfect solution to store surveillance footage, it is:
- Cost effective, eliminates the need for an onsite video recorder.
- It is accessible, you are able to view footage easily from smartphones, tablets and desktop browsers as and when required.
- Flexible. No need for rewiring just for adding a new location, you are able to add new users onto the existing infrastructure or remove them if necessary.
3. Secure Your Security System
When we talk about the advantages of some technology available today such as the cloud, with it comes some threats too. When setting up your cameras, especially using cloud solutions, you need to look at the risk factors too and how to prevent hackers gaining access into your systems. Every time there is an advancement in technology, there is someone out there who is looking at ways to outsmart the security systems. Internet Protocol (IP) cameras require an internet connection to function, and these types are very popular. However, there are a few things you may need to put into practice to secure your systems from cyber criminals:
- Change passwords every 3 months utilizing proper password management.
- Do not use the same password more than once or for multiple devices.
- Be conscious of who is around when you type passwords.
- Do not store passwords in browsers accessible to other people.
- Do not use insecure or unencrypted connections such as free or shared Wi-Fi.
- Pay attention to alerts such as unknown login activity or password changes
- Never leave default factory passwords as they are when buying a new device. Always change the password.
- When choosing a password ensure you use uppercase letters, numbers and symbols where possible and make it a long one.
- When choosing a camera ensure it is encrypted, encryption makes reading your valuable data a lot more challenging for cyber criminals.
4. Additional Camera Features
The effectiveness of your surveillance system can be improved by opting for some additional camera features. It is worth looking around at what is available and what will suit your business the best, as all businesses and premises are different and what works for one, may not work for another.
Some additional camera features include:
- Mobile cameras that are able to tilt, zoom and be manually moved, creating multiple views.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) Cameras on a monitoring platform that are powered by AI. These alert users of any unusual activity.
- Night Vision, these cameras use infrared LED’s to provide clear images.
- High resolution for the best quality recordings.
- IP-based systems, video cables – not required
- Outdoor cameras that are weatherproof and can withstand any weather.
- Accessing surveillance systems remotely, this would be available to your smartphone.
Another add on that may be available, depending on what system you decide on, could be audio. Audio can be added to some cameras, allowing you to hear any intruders and you can also include a speaker so you can speak to people on your premises too.
There are so many different options and add-ons available when choosing your surveillance system. To start with, it is best practice to call your local police and ask them where the local hotspots for criminals are, what seems to be attracting them and what they think is working for others in the neighbourhood. Do not be scared of asking for advice, ask whether your cameras need to be discreet or a visual deterrent – the advice often differs between areas.
Obviously, it is beneficial to any business to get it right first time as then you are not unnecessarily wasting money on security measures that are not going to work. Careful consideration at this point will ensure you have a surveillance system that will work for your business for the long-term.