Sometimes I have clients call and ask how to disable their security cameras since they can’t have a tech reach them soon enough and for one reason or another, they want to have immediate privacy. If you are stuck in this situation this guide is for you.
However, if you are using this guide to disable a neighbors’ security camera or one somewhere else we have to give you a legal disclaimer and say we do not in any way advise you to use this information for malicious intent. If you have a neighbor that is recording your property and if they breach your privacy, you may try speaking with them or contact a lawyer. Taking someone’s camera and destroying it is not a good method.
For all others here is a step-by-step guide on how to disable security cameras from recording.
10+ Effective Methods How to Disable Home Security Cameras
- 10+ Effective Methods How to Disable Home Security Cameras
- 1. Remove the Battery or Turn off the Power Source
- 2. Point an Infrared Laser at it
- 3. Use a Powerful LED Light
- 4. Stickers
- 5. Invest in a Camera Jammer
- 6. Hack the Security Camera
- 7. Cut the Cable Wires
- 8. Spray Paint the Camera
- 9. Cover the Camera with Tape
- 10. Cover the Camera with a Bag
- 11. Use a Paintball Gun
- 12. Throw Something at the Camera
1. Remove the Battery or Turn off the Power Source
Sound like a no-brainer? Well, a lot of lower-level security cameras actually come with easy to disconnect cables. We always recommend using good tech but if you run across these low-quality cameras you can actually just disconnect them. It’s easy, disconnect the power supply or battery.
If somehow the security camera is wireless, you should look for a battery compartment to remove it. If you are facing a wired device, you can also cut the wires to the camera as we cover in more detail in our cutting wires section. If you run across a trail camera these can easily be disabled by removing the battery.
2. Point an Infrared Laser at it
This is one of the most common methods for disabling a security camera. Simply aiming a bright laser pointer at the camera’s lens for several minutes will damage the camera’s sensor.
This method needs a significant amount of work to keep the laser steady. Suppose the laser-pointer moves away from the lens, even a fraction of a second. The camera will capture your face.
Any standard laser pointer will do. Generally, the stronger the laser, the stronger the blinding will be. This strategy will work at any time of day or night.
3. Use a Powerful LED Light
Did you know that a simple flashlight can disable a camera?
Directly shine a powerful LED (light-emitting diode) into the camera lens. The more powerful the flashlight, the better it will be.
Determine the exact location of the camera and shine the light straight into the lens. This technique should produce a lens flare that makes it hard to recognize who you are when done correctly. The flashlight method is not for the faint of heart. Any diligent guard will be alerted to your presence by the sudden flash. However, you should be able to conceal your identity using a bright light.
It may be a strange method available; however, it can be pretty effective. You can purchase stickers and stick them right to the lens of the camera.
It may not be the most effective method to disable a camera, but it should be enough to cover your face. Imagine the irony of sticking a security sticker on a camera lens to disable it.
5. Invest in a Camera Jammer
You may also purchase and deploy a security camera jammer.
These devices are capable of silently disconnecting audio/video communications. To break and obstruct the transmission of wireless cameras, it sends interruption-code frequencies in the 900MHz to 2499MHz range.
Keep in mind that these can cost hundreds of dollars and can be prohibitively pricey. There are also legality problems for jammers on a state-by-state basis, but as a last resort, it might work. (1)
6. Hack the Security Camera
Nowadays, updating default passwords for a new security camera system ought to be a no-brainer.
All the world’s firewalls and tight network protocols won’t help if an unauthorized user can acquire remote access to a surveillance camera by logging in with a widely used or factory-set password. These passwords are frequently similar to the manufacturer’s original factory settings. They are often set to “12345” with a username of “admin.”
7. Cut the Cable Wires
Bear in mind that this method is considered property destruction. Therefore you should think seriously before attempting it. Any form of property such as CCTV security cameras, DVRs, NVRs, or CCTV systems that are damaged can result in legal action.
Although many security cameras are now wireless, the vast majority are still using wires. If you know where the security camera’s point of contact is, you can disable it by simply disconnecting the power or signal cord.
The cameras are usually connected to the main system using two connections. The power cable is one, while the data cable is the other. If you cut the power cord, the camera will switch off. If you cut the data cable the camera will remain turned on even if the data line is severed, but there will be no video stream.
8. Spray Paint the Camera
This is the easiest method of disabling a security camera. Spray the camera with paint, and the recording will immediately blackout. This technique, however, requires you to approach the camera yourself, which can be dangerous.
The core concept is simple: approach as near to the camera as possible without being seen or identified, then spray paint the lens, rendering the camera inactive. Wear a hat and a face mask to protect your face.
9. Cover the Camera with Tape
You can use the technique of covering the lens in various ways to disable a security camera. In this scenario, any tape will be enough to prevent the security camera from filming.
You can easily use duct tape, electrical tape, or even colored Scotch tape. Just make sure the tape isn’t transparent; any colored tape with black will result in nothing but a blank screen on the camera.
10. Cover the Camera with a Bag
Another method of blocking the camera is to cover the lens with any soft clothing. You may also use a t-shirt or any plastic bag, such as a grocery bag. Keep in mind that these methods require you to get near the camera, so take precautions to avoid the camera from detecting you.
This procedure only requires a plastic bag and some glue. Industrial grade plastic bags are thicker and virtually opaque, preventing visibility. You may also use a standard waste bag. The effectiveness of this method is that it does not appear to be an attack on the camera.
11. Use a Paintball Gun
This strategy is fitting when you only need to obscure the view of a camera or even numerous cameras for a brief period. It’s a lot of fun to use paint guns. But did you know that they can also obscure the view of a security camera?
Load the paint gun with a thick, concentrated paint mixture. Point it at the lens, and shoot. Make sure that the paint in your gun is viscous enough but any standard paint should do the trick here. This technique will work. (2)
12. Throw Something at the Camera
This is the most common trick. Hit the surveillance camera with an object to render it inoperable or to bring it fully down. Make sure that anyone going by below is safe if you’re doing this from above. If you use this strategy correctly, you will be able to avoid the security camera recording for a long time until someone fixes the camera again.
Note: This method is highly illegal if the camera is not yours.
When is it Necessary To Disable a camera?
If you believe someone’s security camera is invading your privacy, it is always preferable to speak with them first. They may be completely unaware that their camera is recording footage of your property. They could simply be attempting to secure their property boundaries and have not addressed the fact that your property is visible.
So, before you jump to any potentially dangerous conclusions, talk to them in a respectful, non-accusatory manner. Request that they change the angle or direction of their security camera.
If they decline your request, now is the time to use the methods above. Bear in mind that disabling someone’s security camera should always be your last resort. Contact the authorities and request assistance.
How to Stop a Security Camera from Recording?
If you disable a security camera, it may be associated with unlawful conduct which may be illegal. If you wish to disconnect your home’s security camera, get in your recording settings, uncheck all days, and click stop Recording. Your security camera will no longer be recording. Then, unplug it from the source of power.
However, for your safety and security, it is recommended you disconnect your security camera at any moment. If you believe your neighbor is invading your privacy and want to disconnect their security camera, it is advisable to contact the police rather than disabling it yourself.
What Does the Law Say About Disabling Security Cameras?
21 Okl. St. 1993, Tampering with or disabling a security or surveillance camera or security system:
It is illegal to use, refocus, reposition, cover, manipulate, disconnect, or otherwise tamper with or disable a security or surveillance camera or security system to avoid detection while committing, attempting to commit, or aiding another person in committing or attempting to commit any felony. On conviction, any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a crime punished by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years or a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00), or both.
(1) jammers – https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/jammers
(2) paintball – https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/paintball.htm