For Orlando, FL, area business owners, it’s important that you keep security footage on hand for the right amount of time. This is crucial for identifying patterns, risks, threats and even individuals responsible for crimes inside and outside your business perhaps far down the road. How long should you keep your CCTV footage, though?
First, understand that there’s really not single answer here. You keep the footage from your video surveillance system for as long as you can or need. There are quite a few factors that will impact your ability, as well.
One of the most important factors is your recording medium. If you still record footage on tape, then chances are good that you only keep CCTV footage for a few days, or maybe a few weeks at the very most. Then, the tape is reused, and the old footage is overwritten by current footage. Thankfully, tape systems have largely died out as technology has progressed. Today, most CCTV footage is digital in nature, and is stored on a hard drive. However, that doesn’t mean that you can save that data for as long as you like.
With digital footage, you are still limited in how long you can store your CCTV footage. In this case, the limitation comes from the size of the hard drive being used to store the video files. You do not have unlimited digital storage, and in most cases, you’ll probably only have about one month’s worth of footage available at any one time. After that, the files are deleted to ensure there is space available for new footage.
Of course, none of these are set in stone. There are ways around all these constraints, although it will require working with the right Orlando security company to choose and set up you video surveillance system. For instance, you can purchase a system with a larger hard drive, which will mean less frequent deletions. You could also manually offload files from your system’s hard drive to a thumb drive or another hard drive.
There is really no hard and fast answer on how long you should retain CCTV footage. In some cases, it should be kept for as long as possible, but in others, the law may mandate that you delete it after a minimum amount of time, particularly if it includes any visible personally identifiable customer or employee information. The right security company can help you find the right solution for your specific needs.