Your protection, as well as that of your home, your family and your business is extremely important. In the past, you may have shuddered at the thought of installing security equipment as the costs were too high. And since these devices were usually large, people with the right smarts knew just about enough to avoid them.

Thankfully, these days, video monitoring devices come in smaller shapes and sizes. And sometimes, they even come in forms you wouldn't expect hidden security cameras to be. This comes as a great benefit because you can carry out monitoring discreetly without having those around you having to be aware of where the monitors are.

Here are some ways to carry out discreet video monitoring:

1. Disguised as a smoke detector. Have you ever seen the film Enemy of the State? In one of the film's scenes, the characters of Gene Hackman and Will Smith installed a surveillance device on the smoke detector of Jon Voight's character.

Having a smoke detector hidden camera is useful for both home and business settings as the smoke detector remains functional while also being able to record video and audio of the scene below. For homeowners, it's a good way to monitor babysitters, pets and your home in general. Business owners can use it to not only monitor employees but also ensure their safety.

2. Hidden inside a DVR clock radio. What's a better disguise for spy cameras than harmless clock radios? As someone listens to sounds, the device is also recording the scene happening right in front of it.

Homeowners can benefit a lot from this especially if they suspect something is being taken from their bedroom or maybe their child has complained of losing items they own. With a hidden camera DVR clock radio, monitoring becomes so much easier because the object concealing the camera is so common that it would rarely be suspected for a monitoring device.

3. Disguised as an ordinary pen. Suppose you're a person who is known to carry around a pen a lot. Let's just say that someone is your child and he has reported being bullied in school. Giving them a pen like the HD Pen DVR allows them to clip it onto their shirt and record whatever is going on. With this, you have concrete proof that your child is not being treated well in school.

That's just one example, and surely there are many other other security applications where a pen that functions like a recorder can be used.

4. Disguised as a smile button. Smile buttons are cute, right? They make a lovely accessory to your outfit. But apart from that, they can also be used for security reasons. As you've seen in spy films or detective series, buttons can be used to hide a camera that will record a meeting with a potential suspect or keep a better watch on the surroundings.

The same thing can be done in your case. For example, there are some things a video can see better than your own eyes. Maybe at a public event showcasing art collections, you can have many of your attendants wear smile buttons to monitor the surroundings. This way, if anything gets lost, you can look back at the footage for review.

5. Hidden in your sunglasses. Who would suspect you monitoring when you've just got a pair of shades on. Suppose you're taking your child to the park and someone suspicious is always getting near the children. You can shoe footage to the police so they are aware of certain personalities who may cause harm to children.

Again, this is just one way to use sunglasses with an integrated, hidden DVR in them.

With these five ways of video monitoring, you can better guarantee the safety of your premises, yourself and those you love. These mini security cameras come in the form of normal items that no one would suspect conceals something.