Electronic surveillance equipment is often used as a security measure to either prevent or catch someone in an illegal act such as robbery or assault. However, there is a very thin line between monitoring activities and spying and there is an ongoing debate concerning privacy laws, rights and surveillance. Despite the controversy, surveillance equipment continues to sell.
Surveillance in businesses is almost always for security reasons. In some cases it's security for the protection of employees, such as in the case of sexual harassment allegations or assault by a customer. In other cases it's for protection of the company against outside intruders such as burglars or armed robbers. Surveillance is also often used to monitor employees to prevent incidents of employee theft or misconduct.
Surveillance is not just confined to mounted CCTV cameras in hallways and offices; many companies have now started using electronic surveillance to keep an eye on Internet use and to keep track of business calls. Simple software packages are now available that enable employers to monitor internet and e-mail use without the employee being aware of it.
Audio surveillance is used for recording phone conversations which in some businesses, such as banks, may simply be for staff training purposes. There are many companies that record these phone calls without the knowledge of the employees in order to ensure time is not being spent on personal business during working hours. In some cases phone calls are monitored to ensure that sensitive, business-related information is not being leaked to outside sources.
Surveillance equipment used in smaller businesses is essentially the same sort of equipment that can be found in the home but for larger companies larger, more complex systems may be required to cover all bases. Video surveillance equipment includes basic CCTV cameras hooked up to a VCR recorder or DVR. Complete surveillance systems can range in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the size and quality of the system.
Home surveillance is used in an attempt to deter burglars or catch them if they should happen to break in. However, home surveillance equipment is also used to monitor household activities and spy on anyone who may enter the house.
One of the most popular pieces of home surveillance equipment is the hidden camera. These are quite often hidden in fully-functional household devices such as clock radios, kitchen clocks, plants, air purifiers, teddy bears, picture frames and smoke detectors. Hidden cameras are often used to spy on anyone who may be at the house when the owner is out including nannies, housekeepers, kids and house sitters.
The other most commonly used type of surveillance equipment in the home is the video entry system which enables you to see and speak to people at your front door without even opening it. This provides added security against criminals attempting to gain access to your house and can increase the value of a property.
Types of electronic surveillance equipment:
Digital surveillance equipment
Digital surveillance systems enable footage to be stored as data on a computer hard drive eliminating the need for videotapes. It also enables live video streaming and access to the system from any location in the world.
Wireless surveillance equipment
Wireless surveillance equipment works in a similar way to wired equipment except that the signals from camera to monitor are broadcast from a transmitter to a receiver rather than traveling through cables. This type of surveillance equipment is quite popular because it is easy to install. Image quality can be compromised if the camera is placed too far from the receiver (the device that receives the signals from the camera) or if there are too many obstacles, such as trees or walls, in between the camera and monitor.
Wired surveillance equipment
Wired surveillance equipment usually requires professional installation but it often provides better image quality when the cameras are positioned far from the recorder or monitor.