What You Need To Know About Nanny Cams

Welcome to the world of the nanny cam. This controversial device has sparked numerous debates the world over. Whether you’re pro nanny cam or a definite hidden camera detractor, it’s important to know what they are, the legality surrounding them, and the pros and cons of using one.

Thankfully, we’re here to give you some insider info. We’ve been helping people protect themselves for years at Self Defense Superstore. We’ve learned a thing or two about hidden cameras in that time and we’re sharing our knowledge with you today.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about nanny cams!


The very first thing you want to figure out is whether hidden cameras are legal where you live. If they’re not, then you’re probably going to want to stay away from buying and installing one.

Home security camera legality isn’t as cut and dry a topic as you might expect. While it’s legal to install a hidden camera in your house in the United States, regardless of what particular state you live in, there are some areas that are off limits. You can’t film anyone in “private areas.” These include bathrooms and guest bedrooms.

That just covers the video portion of recording with a nanny cam. What about audio with it? Well, this depends on the state you live in. Several states have very strict laws about how you record audio. If you live in one of the following states, you need to notify anyone you wish to record that you have a home security camera:

New Hampshire
You’re liable for breaking the law if you don’t notify your nanny of your nanny cam in these states. Perhaps more importantly, any audio evidence you record without someone’s consent will likely be inadmissible in court.


Now that we know the legality of home security cameras, it’s time to look at whether you should consider a hidden camera or an exposed one.

While your choice will probably come down to personal preference, there are some factors worth considering. Exposed nanny cams are, as the name suggests, out in the open. These are a smart choice if you have an understanding with your babysitter, or whoever it is you’re recording. Exposed home security cameras lay everything out in the open and are a good option if you live in one of the states listed above.

Hidden cameras are a good choice if you suspect your babysitter of doing something illegal and want to catch them in the act. If you don’t have a good relationship with whoever it is you’re recording, then you’ll likely want a hidden home security camera.

If you do choose a hidden camera, you’re going to want to consider the implication of whoever you’re recording finding it. This isn’t going to matter so much in the case of, say, a contractor or service worker. This certainly will matter in the case of a babysitter or nanny. They’ll probably feel betrayed, so think long and hard about whether a hidden camera is worth the potential consequences.


A lot of people use the terms nanny cam, hidden camera, home security camera, and mini spy camera interchangeably. While this is fine most of the time, there are significant differences between your run-of-the-mill nanny cam and a mini spy camera.

Mini spy cameras, as the name implies, are designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to spy on someone. These cameras include the infamous pen spy camera, and many other types like sunglass cameras, screw cameras, flashlight cameras, and more.

While spying is part of the function of home security cameras, it isn’t the only function. These are more for general peace of mind than for the sole purpose of spying on someone. This might not seem like a large distinction, but after many years in the world of home security, we can tell you with confidence that it is!


Different nanny cams have different components. Simple enough, right? Right…until you start considering things like viewing angle, tilting cameras, motion activation, low-frequency audio recording, and more.

Any decent home security camera is going to have a few base features. These include:

HD video recording
Wireless capability
Other device compatibility – not all cameras are compatible with all devices though
Once you’ve covered these bases, you’re going to want to look into some optional hidden camera features. These are things like:

Motion activation
Recording angle – regular lens vs. wide angle lens
Tilting or roving camera
Power source
Remote access and activation
Not all of these home security camera features are going to be necessary. The features you want are going to largely depend on what you’re using your nanny cam for. If it’s to monitor a new babysitter or keep tabs on someone working on your house, the standard features will be more than enough.

Now that you’re an expert on all things nanny cam, swing by our online store and get everything you need to keep yourself safe and protected.