5 Ways to Back Up Surveillance Footage
Once you’ve installed security cameras, don’t assume their presence will be enough to scare away criminals. Make a plan to ensure you have the camera footage securely stored in case you need to review it yourself or share it with law enforcement.
Install a Backup System
Jewelers Mutual, Jewelers’ Security Alliance, and Jewellers Vigilance Canada recommend keeping backups of your security footage for a minimum of four weeks. Of course, if you have the storage space, it doesn’t hurt to maintain records for even longer. Video is also a great way to track merchandise or packages that may be missing, and it can also alert you to employee theft. Consider these options:
- Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) — Just like you’d record a TV show at home, using a DVR lets you capture security footage for when you’re ready to watch it. DVRs can typically store a large amount of video and can be set to record only when a motion sensor goes off, if you choose.
- Hard Drive — A computer hard drive can serve as a good backup for video files; however, keep in mind that hard drives are all at risk of failing eventually. That’s why it’s important to use a hard drive as a backup but not as your sole storage system.
- CDs or DVDs — If your system records to CDs or DVDs, store them so they aren’t exposed to extreme temperature or humidity changes, and avoid keeping them in sunlight.
- USB Sticks or SD Cards — The same protocol for CDs and DVDs applies to their more compact counterparts. Due to the smaller size of USB sticks and SD cards, they may be easier to misplace, so it is important that their whereabouts are always known.
- Off-site Storage on “The Cloud” — For a monthly fee that may be less than the cost of discs or hard drives, you can store your footage via a “cloud” service so it’s accessible to you at any time on any device.