Wyze security camera breach is another reason why you should look at privacy shutters — here’s what I recommend

Security cameras with privacy shutters.
(Image credit: Amazon / Tom's Guide)

When you bring a security camera into your home, there’s an inherent risk of it being compromised. There’s always that scary possibility of someone watching you behind the camera without you ever knowing it, whether it’s for their own enjoyment or other nefarious reasons.

Over the weekend, security camera maker Wyze blamed a glitch with its AWS cloud computing partner that allowed people to view footage from other Wyze cameras. Basically, users didn't see their ordinary feeds when they opened the Wyze app. Instead, it displayed random thumbnails of video feeds from other Wyze cameras. Roughly 13,000 Wyze users were affected for several hours, which makes a stinging point that it can happen unexpectedly.

I’ve reviewed some of the best security cameras over the past few years, and while I love how they offer peace of mind and security, whether I’m home or not, I know that even the best ones can still be compromised. That’s why I can’t rave enough about security cameras with privacy shutters.

I really don't understand why we don’t have more of them because they’re the last line of defense against inconspicuous hackers who could be accessing your video feed without you knowing. Here’s why you should look into security cameras with privacy shutters.

What are privacy shutters for security cameras?

SimpliSafe Indoor camera with privacy shutter.

(Image credit: SimpliSafe)

Basically, these are security cameras with physical covers that go over the camera lens. These barriers are either passive or mechanically actuated. Passive ones require users to manually open or close them, but they’re often less expensive.

In contrast, mechanically actuated privacy covers for security cameras are accessed through an app to instantly cover the camera. While both options technically act as physical barriers, passive ones require more upkeep because you must be mindful about opening and closing them. The last thing you need to happen halfway through your morning commute is realizing you forgot to open the privacy cover before leaving.

I like mechanical privacy covers because they often emit audible tones to let you know when their covers are opened or closed. Really, it’s hard not to notice when security cameras are being accessed because of this audible tone. Plus, you can set an automation with some models that automatically opens/closes the privacy shutter when you enter your home/leave it.

For me, this kind of automation, combined with the added layer of protection, makes these security cameras better than most others. Here are my favorite security cameras with privacy covers.

SimpliSafe Indoor Security Camera: was $139 now $118 @ Amazon

SimpliSafe Indoor Security Camera: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=45724&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FSimpliSafe-Wireless-Indoor-Security-Camera%2Fdp%2FB0C5NY1PB2%2F%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">was $139 now $118 @ Amazon
There’s nothing better in my experience of reviewing security cameras than this one from SimpliSafe. The thought put into its mechanical actuator to instantly engage the privacy shutter is truly remarkable because you can visually see and hear when the privacy cover is active. The only downside to this is that it’s locked into SimpliSafe’s ecosystem, which I think is still one of the best DIY security systems with 24/7 monitoring.

Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: was $79 now $59 @ Amazon

Arlo Essential Indoor Camera: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=45724&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FArlo-Essential-Indoor-Camera-Plug%2Fdp%2FB08WFJKK2T%2F%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">was $79 now $59 @ Amazon
Another excellent option is the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera. It’s more affordable and also features a mechanical privacy cover that cuts the video feeds when you need extra privacy. And since it’s Arlo, it offers excellent image quality complete with 2-way noise canceling audio that makes it a perfect baby monitor as well.

GE Cync Smart Indoor Camera: was $69 now $39 at Amazon

GE Cync Smart Indoor Camera: <a href="https://target.georiot.com/Proxy.ashx?tsid=45724&GR_URL=https%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2FGE-Lighting-Resolution-Assistant-Compatible%2Fdp%2FB08W8DDW4B%3Ftag%3Dhawk-future-20%26ascsubtag%3Dhawk-custom-tracking-20" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">was $69 now $39 at Amazon
Don’t let its ultra-low-cost fool you because the GE Cync Smart Indoor Camera still respects your privacy with its passive privacy cover. In one simple action, users can cover the camera lens from prying eyes. You’ll need to be mindful, however, since you can remotely open the privacy cover through the app in the event you forget to do it on your own.

Privacy shutters should be in every security camera

Whether you’re looking for the best outdoor security camera or the best video doorbells, I can’t stress enough the importance of remembering that your privacy does matter. It’s often overlooked because people are most concerned about catching potential intruders on video. That’s why we should expect more out of them.

Without a doubt, security cameras with mechanical actuators cost a lot more and require more stringent quality assurance testing, but I’ve come to appreciate their effectiveness. Even though the three options I recommend above are my favorite ones to consider, here are a few more worth looking at that have some sort of privacy measure in place.

  • Ring Indoor Cam (2nd Gen): This one comes with a manual privacy cover for the quick convenience of covering the camera lens.
  • Logitech Circle View: It’s one of the few security cameras that support HomeKit, but the entire camera can be pointed downwards for privacy.
  • Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen): It’s technically a smart display, but its front-facing camera lets it act as a security camera as well, with Alexa Guard. Plus, there’s a manual privacy switch that can go over the camera.
  • eufy Security Indoor Cam S350: This indoor camera pans and tilts, making it one of the few that can move to track subjects. There’s a privacy mode that makes the camera point in the opposite direction.
  • Aqara Camera Hub G3: When you don’t want it to actively monitor you at home, the privacy mode of the Aqara Camera Hub G3 points its camera back into its body.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.