To Watch or Not To Watch- Home Surveillance when away
December 14, 2011 8:10 PM Subscribe
We are going out of town and using a housesitting service that we found through the interwebs. A friend told us that we absolutely must set up some sort of surveillance. I'm really torn.
posted by emilyclaire to technology (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Specifically, it's a cat sitter who should be coming over once a day. We met her and the company owner, who were both very nice and I feel comfortable with. But other than instincts and some good yelp reviews, I got nothing. I was totally cool with this, but my husband was nervous, and then some friends of ours told us that after their place was broken into, they set up a simple security camera and actually caught a friend who was pet sitting going through their things. Yipes.
But I'm still not sold on this. More specifics: we will be gone for a week, far enough away that it would take more than a day to get back. We live in a medium-sized apartment building, major city, good neighborhood, three floors up, with no door person, and a back porch. I have an iMac with iSight in a prominent space, so setting up a security cam would be as simple as downloading a program.
Our friends argued that for $30, we would be able to log into a website and see our apartment, monitor the cat sitter and make sure that no one had broken in. My argument against it is, wouldn't you rather be in the dark? I have pet sat before, and I have brought friends over or gotten a drink of water or checked their bathroom cabinet for some much needed advil- all things that would look much more sinister from a webcam. And I am concerned if I have access to this camera, it would ruin my vacation because I would feel the need to check it all the time. Plus, I downloaded a trial of one program, and the green light for my camera comes on- would I want her to know she was being watched? I would be pissed if I found out someone was recording me.
As far as catching a thief, I'm sure we have all seen the video where the woman speaks to the police department in real time while she watches thieves break into her house and then later as they are caught- but I'm guessing that's pretty unusual. The chance that I would log on just as people are breaking in and be able to call the cops in time and that the thieves wouldn't just unplug and take my iMac seems unlikely.
So, I guess I feel pretty set against it, but everyone else I have talked to thinks I am being ridiculous not doing it when it would be relatively easy to do. Have any of you done this and had positive/negative results? Or have you been to someone's house and realized they were filming you?Any non-surveillance tips on coming back to a happy house?