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How to Protect Security Cameras From Theft and Vandalism

Too busy to read? Here’s a summary:

  • Tools and best practices to protect outdoor security cameras from theft and vandalism include placing cameras at least nine feet above the ground, using vandal-resistant housing, securing wiring, implementing tamper alarms, installing security lights, using dummy cameras, and utilizing backup power devices.
  • To protect outdoor security cameras from cyber-attacks, ensure network security with strong, unique passwords and WPA3 encryption, regularly update firmware, use a VPN or VLAN services, and secure the recorder in a locked location.
  • The goal of outdoor security camera protection is not just to protect cameras. It’s about making sure the equipment continues to monitor and record in designated areas.

This article explores best practices to protect outdoor security cameras from thieves, vandals, and other bad actors.

Security cameras are proven to deter criminal activity, but when criminals are able to steal, cover, or otherwise neutralize security cameras, their capacity to deter vanishes, and bad actors assume it’s open season for further wrongdoing.

Fortunately, there are tricks and tools to help keep your surveillance uninterrupted, clear, and functional.

Keep on reading to find out how you can protect your outdoor security cameras from theft, vandalism, hacking, and other crimes.

Protect Outdoor Security Cameras from Theft and Vandalism

Outdoor vandal-resistant camera

Here are tools and best practices to protect outdoor security cameras from criminals:

High Placement

Install cameras out of reach. Nine feet above the ground is a good starting point, but it can vary depending on the specific location’s susceptibility to lighting.

Hidden yet Visible

While it might seem contradictory, it's a good idea to place cameras in a location where they aren’t easily noticed at first glance but are, nevertheless, visible enough to deter bad actors who are on the lookout for them.

Use Vandal Resistant Housing

Vandal-proof housings for security cameras are designed to protect cameras from damage.

Vandal-proof housings are typically made from robust, impact-resistant materials like heavy-duty metal and reinforced plastic.

The vandal-proof rating system for security camera housings is the IK rating scale, a standard defined in European Standard EN 62262.

An IK00 rating indicates no protection from impact, while an IK10 rating signifies the highest level of protection (resistance to impacts of up to 20 joules).

Cameras with high IK ratings are ideal for public spaces, schools, high-crime neighborhoods, and other areas prone to vandalism.

Tamper Alarms

Some advanced cameras come with tamper detection features that send instant alerts if cameras are moved or vandalized.

Security Lights

Install motion-activated lights near cameras. Sudden illumination can deter potential vandals or thieves.

Secure the Wiring

Make sure the wires are either buried or protected in conduit. This makes it harder for bad actors to find and cut the cables used for data transmission.

Backup Power

Consider using uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for your cameras to ensure they remain operational even if someone tries to cut the power.

Use Dummy Cameras

In addition to real cameras, install fake or dummy cameras. This can act as a deterrent, confuse potential thieves or vandals, and keep them focused on neutralizing dummy cameras while real ones monitor everything.

Signage

Display signs indicating that your property area is under surveillance. This alone can act as a deterrent by indicating the presence of multiple cameras.

Protect Outdoor Security Cameras from Cyber-Attacks

Use Password Protection

Ensure that your camera feeds are password-protected. This prevents bad actors from accessing a camera's live feed and stored footage.

Network Security

If your cameras are IP-based (connected to the Internet), ensure that your network is secure. Use strong, unique passwords, enable WPA3 encryption on your Wi-Fi, regularly update firmware, and consider using a VPN or VLAN services for added security.

Secure the Recorder

The camera is just one part of the system. Ensure that the device where footage is stored (like an NVR or VMS) is also secure, either in a locked room or a locked cabinet.

Backup Data

Regularly back up your footage to a secure location, either cloud storage or off-site physical storage. This ensures that even if cameras and recording devices are stolen, you’ll still have access to their footage.

Regular Maintenance and Monitoring

Regularly check your cameras to ensure they’re functioning properly and haven't been tampered with.

Mammoth Protection for Outdoor Security Cameras

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Mammoth Security is Connecticut's leading authority in advanced commercial-grade security systems. And that means we understand both the threats and the solutions that come with outdoor camera installation.

From proper placement to cabling and programming, you can trust the professionals at Mammoth Security for guidance in all aspects of your outdoor security infrastructure. Click to contact us now and fill out the form that appears for a free site survey and security assessment.

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FAQ

The ideal height for installing outdoor security cameras to prevent theft is around nine feet above the ground. This height makes it difficult for thieves and vandals to reach and tamper with the cameras.

Vandal-resistant housings for security cameras are protective casings made from robust, impact-resistant materials like heavy-duty metal or reinforced plastic. They’re designed to shield cameras from damage. The IK rating scale indicates the level of protection the housing provides against physical impacts. IK00 represents zero protection, and IK10 signifies the highest level of protection.

Tamper alarms can be important for outdoor camera protection and overall site monitoring and security. Tamper alarms send alerts when they detect attempts to move, cover, or vandalize cameras.

Motion-activated security lights enhance the protection of outdoor security cameras by providing sudden illumination when movement is detected. This deters vandals and thieves and improves the visibility and effectiveness of the cameras.

Dummy cameras act as a deterrent and can confuse potential thieves or vandals, keeping them focused on neutralizing fake cameras while the real ones continue to monitor and record activities.

Securing the wiring of outdoor security cameras, either by burying them or protecting them in metal conduits, makes it more challenging for bad actors to find or cut cables.

Using password protection for outdoor security camera feeds is crucial to prevent unauthorized access to live feeds and stored footage.

Regular maintenance and monitoring of outdoor security cameras ensure they are functioning properly and haven't been tampered with.

Using uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) with outdoor security cameras ensures they remain operational even if there’s a blackout or someone tries to cut their power.

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