What You Need to Know Before Buying a Hidden Camera
Author: Jayde Walker Date Posted:28 September 2019
By: Jayde Walker
28th September 2019
Since the rise of elderly abuse in nursing homes, the use of hidden cameras has caused public debates in the media. Privacy vs peace of mind; it’s a tough battle.
Latest technologies and the plethora of online spy cameras means everyday users must be careful about where they install such devices and the intent behind them.
Nanny cams are an example.
Hidden cameras come in many shapes and sizes. Some are referred to as nanny or spy cams but they all operate the same way, by hiding a small ‘pinhole’ camera in a normal-looking object.
These cameras have a range of uses. Generally, they’re used at home to monitor children under the care of babysitters, increase your property’s security or install in a family member’s retirement room.
Today, smart home technology allows for seamless integration of hidden cameras. One of the biggest benefits is being able to know what’s going on in your house when you’re not there.
Here are the latest tips to consider before buying a hidden camera.
The Law in Australia
Before you use a nanny cam check local State and Federal laws. In Australia, it’s illegal to secretly film a babysitter, housekeeper or other contracted worker in a private space like bathrooms or bedrooms.
But there are variables.
You can record in common areas of your own home such as the kitchen, lounge or playroom if your intent isn’t malicious (to protect your children or property) and recordings aren’t shown to others unless action is taken (to give as evidence to relevant authorities such as police or to be used in court proceedings etc).
Benefits vs Risks
Hidden nanny cams can make a viable home security tool. But do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- Monitors babysitter’s, pet sitter’s or housekeeper’s working process
- Prevents and exposes child abuse, neglect or theft
- Encourages service improvement by monitoring working patterns, behaviours and patterns
- Can be an invasion of privacy
- Can make some people feel uncomfortable
- Can show your distrust
Whilst everyone is entitled to privacy, having a stranger inside your home makes most feel unnerved. To help keep your kids, family or house safe, the use of a nanny or security camera is often the best solution.
Spy Camera Features
To get the best use of your camera and maximise benefits, set up in the most frequented room or area, or the highest risk area such as kitchen or living space. Avoid blind spots and position lens in direct sunlight to restrict lens glare.
The best cameras have infrared for night vision and motion activation. Another key technology to look out for is WDR (Wide Dynamic Range), which also increases night vision clarity. More top features are:
Video/Lens Quality: HD has a video quality of 720-1080p. The clearer the quality, the more bandwidth it’ll use which limits battery. Consider auto-adjust features which change resolutions settings based on internet connection or cameras with longer battery life. Read consumer reviews to gauge lens quality.
Viewing: Choose wide-angle lens and consider pan-tilt functions to increase field of view. Moveable lens will cover more area without needing to install other cameras.
Streaming: Most cameras will allow live feed viewing directly from camera or smartphone app. Look for cameras with time and date stamp for security purposes.
Storage: Cloud vs local storage (SD card). SD cards with a lot of storage can be costly but many models allow footage to be recorded and stored on a downloaded app.
Wireless: Cameras operate on your Wi-Fi network to allow remote access and configurable mobile notifications. Use a secure network and invest in a fast connection for smooth streaming.
Power: All cameras require power to operate, either by battery or mains supply. For example, a hidden camera in a regular-looking power adapter can be plugged into a normal powerpoint. Battery-operated devise offers portable benefits but will need frequent battery changes. Mains-powered devices can operate 24/7, providing your house has its normal power supply.
Read our hidden camera buying guide for more tips on where to install your camera and feature options.
Not all Nanny Cams are Equal
At The Spy Store, we have quality cameras to protect your family and home. We only stock a selection of hidden nanny cameras that are chosen and tested to maintain the highest quality. Contact us for more information or follow our blog for the latest industry news and tips.
Disclaimer: Before using nanny or hidden spy cameras, please consider the legal and ethical implications.