Nothing makes a homeowner more proud than witnessing their shiny new home security cameras in action, but imagine their surprise when it turns out their captured footage is unusable – likely because the criminals tampered with it. Unfortunately there are multiple ways to blind or obscure the view of security cameras: from the improper use of raspberry jam to deploying LED lights, crooks have developed several strategies to prevent their identity from being filmed. Other methods include cutting the wires or hacking the security hub remotely, but they all belong to a different category. What is interesting, however, is that you don’t need criminal intent to benefit from blinding a camera. Homeowners often resort to such tricks when their neighbor points a camera at their property. You should probably deal with such an issue face-to-face, but if it’s in the name of privacy then that’s hardly something to complain about.
Blinding the Camera… Literally
One of the most common methods of blinding the camera is pointing a strong light source directly at the lens. When done right, this technique creates lens flare on the security footage, preventing the viewer from identifying the culprit. In other words, homeowners are aware that someone has committed trespassing but their face is obscured thanks to the lens flare. In order to successfully carry out such a distraction, robbers using this technique will be acting swiftly and precisely; they need to point the flashlight accurately while avoiding weaving it, since doing so would remove the effect. Also, the level of brightness is a vital factor. LED lights are the best option, but it will also need to be dark for the technique to work properly. As such, criminals who loot during daylight prefer infrared laser pointers to provide the same results.
No! Not the Jam!
“There’s only one man who would dare give me the raspberry…” Actually, radars aren’t the only things you can jam. By smearing a sticky substance on the camera lens, criminals can obscure the vision completely. Vaseline, jelly, peanut butter: everything goes if it can be easily smeared. Sophisticated burglars who don’t wish to dirty their hands tend to use duct tape or just throw a rag on the camera. ‘Jamming’ the camera is far more effective than waving a flashlight, not to mention it’s permanent until fixed. This does mean that the camera needs to be approached undetected in order to tamper with the lens, and of course the crooks will likely be wearing gloves during the process to avoid leaving fingerprints behind.
Avoiding Criminal Tampering
But let’s flip the table and see how you, as a homeowner, can prevent your expensive electronics from being blinded by such cheap tricks. First and foremost, you need to install more than one camera. Criminals working in pairs often use the following tactic: one person will flash a light at the lens while the other sneaks below it and puts a cover over the recorder. However, having two or three cameras strategically pointed at the backyard or living room ruins this approach completely. Be sure to place the cameras high, too, so that burglars cannot reach them without a ladder. And yet our best advice of all is to opt for advanced cameras that feature motion detection and even a floodlight. The former will raise an alarm when detecting interlopers, while the latter reduces the effectiveness of lens flare – and might be enough to deter the criminal completely.
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