What to Do with Doorbell Footage When You Record a Crime

With a rising number of home break-ins and front porch package thieves, doorbell cameras have become a popular and necessary feature among homeowners. These small, affordable security devices are deterring many burglars and giving homeowners welcome peace of mind.

Doorbell cameras are useful devices that are installed at your front door where a doorbell would traditionally be. They easily connect to your internet or smart home system to let you monitor activity through your computer or mobile device, even when you’re away from home. Motion detectors alert you when there’s movement, and microphones and speakers allow you to talk to whoever is at the door. They even include night vision and can capture footage without any nearby lighting.

When suspicious activity or a crime occurs, your doorbell camera can capture clear images or videos of vandals or thieves in the act. If your doorbell camera records a crime, you should follow these important steps:

1. Call the Police

If your doorbell camera records a crime, it is important to call the police right away. When filing a police report, your doorbell camera will provide police with images or video evidence that will help them with their investigation. Before you do anything, contact the police, discuss the suspicious activity or crime, and share the footage from your doorbell camera with them if possible.

2. Back Up the Footage

Make sure to back up the footage either to the cloud or a hard drive. You don’t want to risk losing it as it could become important evidence in a case.

3. Do Not Post Images or Videos on Social Media

Although it may be tempting to post images or videos of suspicious or criminal activity from your doorbell camera on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, don’t do it!

Sharing these images or videos on the internet can jeopardize the police investigation and create legal complications for you. Once you post evidence of a crime and make accusations towards an individual, you risk a lawsuit being filed against you for false accusations and defamation of character if the person accused is found innocent of the alleged crime.

4. Safeguard Your Doorbell Camera

Smart home security offers affordable options for home security, but is not free. Most systems cost hundreds of dollars. Some thieves and porch pirates are just as interested in stealing your camera as breaking into your home. They know that doorbell cameras are easy to sell on the black market for a lucrative profit.

To prevent theft of your doorbell camera or other smart home security devices, follow these simple steps:

  • Purchase an outer casing that prevents physical removal of your doorbell camera.
  • Update passwords and device settings on a regular basis to prevent cyber criminals from hacking into your software and stealing your information.
  • Enhance network security in your home with encryption, antivirus software, and a virtual private network (VPN). A good hacker could access your home network and entire smart home system through your doorbell camera.

A doorbell camera provides a great way to safeguard your home and prevent thefts and break-ins. If you’re interested in installing a doorbell camera at your home, contact our security professionals to discuss your options.