Does SimpliSafe Spy on You? (Facts vs. Myths)

We are seeing way too many companies use our private information and details for their own benefit. Rightfully so, people are worried that their privacy can be compromised.

Protecting your home is a must. But, what good is having all the latest security and safety gadgets if your privacy has been compromised.

Security companies can not only use our personal information but even spy on us. But do they do it?

Does SimpliSafe spy on you? There are no records of SimpliSafe spying on its customers. SimpliSafe can have limited access to your security system while monitoring it. SimpliSafe can also receive a 60-second recording from your camera if an alarm goes off. The video is used by SimpliSafe to verify the alarm and not to spy on you.

Does SimpliSafe Spy on You

There are a few ways SimpliSafe (or anyone else for that matter) can spy on you.

First, we need to consider the possibility for somebody to gain access or hack the SimpliSafe security system, and next, we need to find out how exactly does the SimpliSafe monitoring works and what access do SimpliSafe employees have to your camera feeds and security equipment notifications.


Can SimpliSafe Spy on You?

In order to assess if SimpliSafe can spy on you, we need to find out what kind of access its employees have to your security system alerts, notifications, and video feed.

SimpliSafe can record, store, and use video and audio recordings from your security system, depending on the monitoring plan you are using and how the system is configured.

SimpliSafe has access to your cameras and camera-enabled devices. Because of this, people may worry SimpliSafe can potentially spy on you. However, SimpliSafe needs that access in order to provide its security services.

This is why SimpliSafe has put in place very thorough security procedures and controls that do not allow its employees to gain unauthorized access to your camera’s video and audio feeds and thus spy on you.

That being said, depending on what security plan you are subscribed to, SimpliSafe may have different levels of access to your security devices.

So let’s take a more in-depth look at each monitoring plan.

SimpliSafe Self-Monitoring Plan

The self-monitoring plan is your bare-bones monitoring option. There is no professional monitoring offered with it as it is completely free and costs $0.

This means that if an alarm goes off for some reason, you will have to do all the work.

You need to be monitoring the status of your home security devices as nobody else will be actively monitoring for any alarms or notifications, and nobody will call you if something suspicious worth your attention is happening.


SimpliSafe Standard Monitoring Plan

The standard monitoring plan is very cheap; it costs $0.50 a day. The standard plan offers 24/7 professional monitoring, including police dispatch if needed.

This means that a professional team will monitor the status of the alarms, sensors, and cameras in your home. If an alarm or a sensor goes off, a security specialist will call to confirm with you what is happening and whether police should be sent.

However, with the standard plan, the security team does not have access to your video feeds, so they cannot confirm what is happening at the moment in your home.


SimpliSafe Interactive Monitoring Plan

The Interactive plan is a little more expensive than the standard plan; costing $0.83 per day. However, it also offers a lot more and takes full advantage of what the security system is capable of.

When the alarm foes, you will, as always, receive a notification about the event, and a security guard from the monitoring center will call you.

However, at the same time, with the Interactive plan, the security specialist will also have access to your live video feed at your home when the alarm has gone off.

This means that the trained specialist at the monitoring center will receive a 60-second video recording from the cameras at the time of the alarm and will use it to verify what has happened at the time of the alarm.

That way, they can act quickly and dispatch police faster and quicker while also having the evidence they need to prevent false alarms.

As you can see, SimpliSafe employees will be able to receive very limited video footage from your cameras under certain circumstances. They will not be able to spy on you while you are in your home, as the alarm should normally be turned off.

However, if you turn on your SimpliSafe security system and somehow trigger the alarm yourself, SimpliSafe’s security team may receive video footage on which you may be present.


Camera Subscriptions

SimpliSafe also offers a monitoring plan for people that want to use only cameras. Those camera subscriptions can vary between $4.99 a month for a single camera to $9.99 a month for up to 10 cameras.

The camera subscription is similar to the Interactive plan in what it offers—only without the added benefit of having different sensors.

SimpliSafe monitoring team will still have access to 60-second footage of events that have triggered an alarm.


Can Other People Use SimpliSafe to Spy on You?

There are a few ways other people may be able to spy on you by using the SimpliSafe security system in your home.


People With Access to the SimpliSafe System

People With Access to the SimpliSafe System

SimpliSafe home security systems are one of the top systems that are in the DIY niche. Meaning you can buy the equipment directly from SimpliSafe and install everything by yourself.

This means that you will be aware of how exactly the system has been installed, where all the equipment has been placed, and how the system’s different parts connect and work.

This adds a little security as nobody would have had access to your system at the time of installation but yourself. This means that nobody will be able to tamper with the system, compromising the way it works.

Of course, SimpliSafe also offers installation by a licensed professional (for a small fee) for those of us who do not feel particularly handy.

However, SimpliSafe may be used by members of your family or other people. They may also have access to the system’s notification and customization options.

That means that various sensors can be placed on doors and windows or in rooms that can go off when somebody enters said rooms or opens or closes said windows and doors.

When something like that happens, the system (depending on how it has been set up) may send notifications and alerts to one or more people, and they will be aware of what has happened.

So arming or disabling the system, or simply coming back or leaving your home, can alert other people of your actions. Though, those advanced customizable alerts are only offered with the Interactive monitoring plan.

The Interactive plan also offers an on-demand unlimited video recording, which you can save and watch live from anywhere. The saved videos can be kept for up to 30 days. This means that somebody that has access to your SimpliSafe security system can record you on video, which they can watch live or at a later point in time.

SimpliSafe also offers private notifications. This allows a user to set up individual sensors on alert, and once triggered, only they will receive a notification about the event. While with standard alerts, all members may be alerted with secret alerts, only select members may be alerted.

Even though the self-monitoring plan does not offer many of these features, somebody can still use it to watch the live video feed from your cameras.

All that means you need to be careful and aware of how many people have been granted access to your SimpliSafe system. This brings us nicely to the next point—can somebody gain access to your SimpliSafe system without you knowing.


A Hacked SimpliSafe Security System

Hacked SimpliSafe Security System

With the older SimpliSafe security system generations like the SS and SS2, there were some security concerns as it was proven that they could be hacked.

The devices back in 2016 did not encrypt the wireless traffic. Because of this security flaw in how the system used to operate, people were able to gain access to and tamper with the system.

This meant that somebody could potentially be able to shut down your security system or potentially even gain access to the video feeds and notification, and even spy on you.

After discovering this security flow, SimpliSafe upgraded its systems, and with the introduction of the third generation of security devices (SS3), SimpliSafe offered encrypted signals that made their systems a lot safer.

However, let me stop you right here and insert an important disclaimer. Although SimpliSafe devices are a lot safer and hack-proof today, this does not mean that they are impossible to hack.

Just like how every lock can be picked, almost every smart or security device for that matter can be hacked, too.

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Edward Clark
Edward Clark, with 15 years of hands-on experience, is a distinguished expert in smart locks and home security systems. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Cybersecurity and is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). His credentials include certifications from ASIS International, IAPP, CompTIA, NTS, and CEDIA. With expertise spanning risk management, electronic security, and data privacy, he's been featured in The Guardian, Forbes, Wired, and more. Edward's mission: guiding individuals toward secure homes using the latest technologies.

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