The Disadvantages of CCTV

By Laura Jean Holton

Updated July 05, 2018

CCTV, or closed circuit television, is the most commonly used security system for homes, stores, banks and businesses. A CCTV system is made up of single or multiple cameras, a recording device and a monitor. Systems can be wired or wireless. While CCTV has many advantages, there are disadvantages in both types of system.


A major disadvantage for CCTV cameras is that they can only monitor a limited area. Criminals can vandalize the cameras in various ways, such as sticking gum or spraying something on the lens. They may even be able to change the angle of the camera. Criticism from the general public is usually about the lack of privacy and high cost to install for personal use.

Wireless Systems

Wireless systems need a specified frequency for the camera to send signals to the receiving and recording station. Other electric motored products, such as air conditioning, fluorescent lighting and cordless telephones can cause interruptions in the frequencies, affecting the picture quality. Wireless systems are subject to distortion in image quality, and need experts in wireless technology to identify and repair system breakdowns. Some systems may not be completely wireless, as they require an electric power cable.

Wired Systems

Wired CCTV systems have the disadvantage of being fixed to a particular area, meaning the camera can't simply change location. The installation and cabling of these cameras is a difficult task that demands the assistance of professionals.


The value of CCTV information has increased, resulting in a higher risk from hackers. Hacking CCTV footage has led to privacy issues, such as images captured by CCTV of naked women distributed across the Internet. It is not possible to completely protect public security systems from hackers. As the system connects to a network, hackers can hack into the system virtually from outside locations.