Types of Nanny Cams
There are two main types of "nanny cams:" hidden and exposed. Both serve the same function, but have different intent and legal implications.
Hidden Nanny Cams
This type of camera is hidden in a device like an alarm clock or stuffed animal. It’s meant to surreptitiously monitor your nanny or babysitter without his/her knowledge. You won’t have to worry about legal ramifications of this type of device if it only records video; It’s legal in all 50 states to secretly videotape the contents of your home and all visitors without their consent. Although, you cannot install cameras in bathrooms or private spaces like your nanny’s bedroom. That is very much illegal.
An important caveat to note here is that hidden cameras are only acceptable if they record video. A number of states don’t allow you to record audio of your nanny, au pair, or babysitter without their knowledge. If you have an audio/video hidden camera, you’ll need to notify your nanny. Failing to do so could result in prosecution and loss of evidence. In other words, you can be sued and any recordings you collect won’t be admissible in court.
- New Hampshire
Exposed Indoor Cameras
Interior home security cameras or recording baby monitors fall under the category of "exposed nanny cams." These cameras are mounted in plain site and can easily be seen by people in your household.
The laws of hidden cameras also apply for those that are exposed. If your household cameras record audio, you’ll need to tell your nanny in a verbal and written statement, so you can’t be prosecuted—and so that you can use recordings as evidence if you ever need to go to court. We recommend doing this in front of a camera and getting a signature, so there’s no doubt about your disclosure.
Dangers Of Nanny Cams
Nanny cams allow you to keep an eye on your child and sitter, but it’s a gateway for creeps too. One couple discovered a breach in their nursery camera when they heard music coming from their child’s bedroom. Another was horrified to find a hacker saying lewd things to their child after taking control of a webcam.
While you install nanny cams and indoor cameras to protect your children, they can inflict harm if they’re hacked. Here are a few ways to prevent this from happening
1. Register Your Device.
When you buy any indoor camera or nanny cam, you should register it with the manufacturer. If the company finds a security flaw, they will alert registered users of the potential problem. You should also join the mailing list in case they issue any updates or recalls, so you’ll know right away if something could endanger your child’s privacy and safety.
2. Make Strong Passwords.
This rings true for every account you have online, but especially for your Wifi. When coming up with a password and username, don’t use obvious things like birthdays, names of pets, or other things a hacker could find online. You can use generators that mash up random numbers, letters, and characters to make virtually unbreakable passwords. You can also do it yourself by choosing a password with at least 15 characters, upper and lower case type, symbols, numbers, and punctuation. When you create one, write it down on a piece of paper for safe-keeping.
3. Encrypt Your WiFi.
Hackers have been breaking into online banking, phones, and more ever since WiFi became more readily available. If you have cameras that operate wirelessly, make sure your system is equipped with firmware. This software is programmed into your device when it’s manufactured. It is tamper-proof and protects your wireless technology better than other software.
4. Set Up Alerts.
Google Alerts allows you to monitor pretty much anything online. You can set up an alert for your interior camera or nanny cam. Whenever it’s mentioned online, you’ll get an email about it. It’s the easiest way to stay on top of news, updates, and issues with your device.
This interior and nanny camera information can help you keep your kids safer. However, if you’re shopping for a nanny cam because you suspect a caretaker of abuse or neglect, you should go with your gut and find a replacement. Cameras can help keep an eye on your kids and show you what’s going on, but you’re the only one who will be able to intervene if necessary.
Looking for other ways to keep your children safe at home’ Get help deciding with our 'how-to-choose' tutorial.