How to Use Your Computer As a Surveillance Device

Use your computer as a surveillance device by adding monitoring systems.
Use your computer as a surveillance device by adding monitoring systems. (Image: network devices image by JCVStock from

Computer surveillance devices are used to protect and monitor assets as well as people. Computers can be easily converted into surveillance devices that review video, audio and keystroke history. Installing software and mounting equipment are the initial steps after determining what system to employ. You can start using your computer as a surveillance device by implementing a mix of equipment that meets your needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Surveillance equipment device(s)
  • Software
  • Disclosure for employees (optional)

Complete a threat analysis by checking vulnerable areas that you plan to monitor. You should physically inspect the location to complete the threat analysis to decide how you can fill in the gaps. For surveillance software devices, you should know how your computer is used when you are not watching. For example, you can review the keystroke history on a work or home computer. Surveillance devices should be implemented in strategic places for the best results. Perform the analysis before purchasing equipment.

Purchase the desired equipment and use the computer to test the device's effectiveness. Mount the camera and/or install the software used to monitor. Try to mount a camera surveillance device where you can see a panoramic view of the space. The computer should transmit a clear image that you can easily view. For software, you need to make sure your computer meets the basic capabilities. For instance, you will need to use a computer with up-to-date audio and video watching programs. You may purchase the equipment online or at a local technology store.

Use the computer to configure special alerts to save time in monitoring. You can set up your surveillance device to notify you of motion detection, noise, etc. Follow the setup directions that come with the equipment. The computer can be used to allow remote access from any device with Internet access as well.

Establish a backup system to retrieve computer surveillance device data. Purchase a SIM card to carry monitoring data for video records or use a USB flash drive to store keystrokes. Use the computer to store remotely as well. This will help provide safe storage for easy retrieval. Determine whether your product includes built-in storage options. Visit the product manufacturer's website to find out your options.

Tips & Warnings

  • Online retailers tend to offer cheaper devices. Check with wholesalers to get the best deals. Equipment prices will vary, but may be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on how complex your surveillance needs are.

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