Never, ever put a camera inside your home

A Ring PTZ Camera in the living room looking at me watching TV
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Imagine sitting on your couch on a Friday night, chilling with your family, and watching the latest trash on Netflix. You're blissfully unaware of the fact that someone gained access to that camera on your bookshelf and is spying on you, gathering who knows what from a computer far away.

Sure, that's a creepy and otherwise very rare situation but, in my eyes, it's a situation that shouldn't exist at all. It's one thing to have indoor cameras for workplace safety or for security reasons at a corner store but keeping one in your home is just a bad idea waiting to happen.

Take the most recent security issues at Eufy (opens in new tab), for example, or the previous flaws in Wyze cameras (opens in new tab), or that time when we found out Ring employees were spying on customers (opens in new tab) through their in-home cameras and you'll realize this scenario isn't quite as far-fetched as you think.

Limited use-case scenarios

Ring PTZ Cam

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

With that being said, there are a few small cases where an indoor camera is a good option. The best indoor cameras (opens in new tab) are all typically safe to use so long as you have a good password on your account and have two-factor authentication enabled.

In my case, I've got a Ring PTZ Camera (pictured above) that I temporarily put up whenever I go on vacation. Typically, I sit it in the middle of the dining room table since that has a perfect view of all the entrances to my home. The perks of being in a small house with one combined great room, essentially.

Not only is this camera a temporary one — I completely unplug it and stick it in a box in the basement when we're not on vacation — but it also does a wonderful job of announcing its presence to anyone that enters the house. Upon any sort of motion detection, it loudly audibly speaks "Hello! You are now being recorded."

It's also nice that it's a PTZ Cam that can cover multiple viewpoints at the touch of a virtual button while you're not home.

Beyond that, I know many people use these types of cameras as baby monitors. Given that this exact scenario caused one of the most horrendously creepy Ring scandals (opens in new tab) in existence, I would say it's also not a good idea. Instead of buying an internet-connected smart camera, buy a simple CCTV one, instead.

Internet-connected cameras should only be placed temporarily in your home and unplugged when you're at home.

That ensures you can still see and hear your child when in the home and that no one can ever somehow get ahold of this footage unless they're standing outside your home with special equipment to tap into the encoded video feed. If you know anything about the tech, that's a very difficult thing to do.

Meanwhile, an internet-connected baby monitor is just as susceptible to creeps as any other internet-connected camera. It just doesn't have the famous baby brand name on it.

Whether or not Eufy is absolved of its wrongdoing in this whole scandal, the reality is that internet-connected cameras should never be put in your home 24/7. Whether the problem is down to human error — which, at this point, is what I believe is happening with the whole Eufy debacle — or to nefarious behavior, the end result is still the same.

Internet-connected cameras should only be placed temporarily in your home and unplugged when you're at home. There's just no reason to open that kind of privacy-killing can of worms in your life.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu