Do you own a doorbell camera? If so, have you ever captured suspicious activity or theft? What did you do with the images or videos?

Doorbell cameras are excellent devices for catching thieves or vandals in the act. However, you may not be sure what to do with footage of suspicious activity. Here are the next steps if your doorbell camera records a crime.

1. Contact the Police

If your doorbell camera captures a crime, such as vandalism or a break in, contact the police immediately. Once you report the events that took place, provide the police with the footage from your doorbell camera. This video evidence can help authorities during their investigation.

2. Do Not Share Evidence on Social Media

Social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, make sharing video footage from your doorbell camera easier than ever before. And if your camera has captured suspicious activity, you may feel tempted to post that recording before notifying the police. Do not do this.

Sharing video evidence of a crime before you’ve notified the authorities can complicate investigations. Quick assumptions, risk of retaliation and lawsuits are all problems that could occur from posting footage online before notifying police.

For example, if you post a video or image online of someone at your door and say they’ve committed a crime when they haven’t, you could be charged with defamation.

Always report the incident to the authorities and provide the footage from your doorbell camera to help them in their investigation.

3. Secure Your Doorbell Camera

Doorbell cameras are significant investments. Depending on the brand and model, they can cost up to $500. And thieves know just how much these devices cost. Just last year, footage showed a Colorado thief stealing multiple doorbell cameras in the middle of the night.

To prevent your doorbell camera from being stolen, consider the following:

  • Secure your camera with a protective case. Prevent thieves from physically stealing your doorbell camera by investing in a protective case.
  • Update device settings. Aside from physical security, cyber security is also a threat to your doorbell camera. Regularly check your device for available updates to make it harder for cyber criminals to find vulnerabilities in your software.
  • Enhance network security. In addition to updating your device settings, ensure your home network is secure. If a hacker exploits your doorbell camera to access your home network, you’ll want to have safeguards in place to mitigate risk. Consider utilizing antivirus software, encryption and a virtual private network (VPN) to enhance network security.

Doorbell cameras increase security for homeowners and their communities. If you’re considering a doorbell camera for your home, contact a trusted security professional to ensure proper setup and installation.