While some people worry about making political statements on their car for fear of offending others, there’s a much more harmless bumper sticker that could be putting you in even more danger: the customizable “My Family” stickers.
Law enforcement officials are saying that these bumper stickers provide free information about you and your whereabouts to criminals.
An Ohio organization called Search and Rescuecreated an infographic to illustrate how bad guys can use the information provided by these adorable stickers. For instance, if you have an Army stick figure representing the father, a bad guy knows that he could be away on deployment.
If there is a boy in a football costume, he’s likely away at practice in the afternoons. And if there’s a small dog, or a cat, there might not be much security at the home.
If you combine all of that with other bumper stickers you may have, like “My son is an honor student at ____,” you’re giving away even more personal info. Now a criminal knows where your child goes to school, and they can simply follow you to find out where you live.
It’s a terrifying thought, but it’s something that should be seriously considered. While it’s unfortunate that you have to think about these kinds of factors when purchasing something as small and harmless as stickers, you can’t ignore the possible results.
Your safest bet is probably not to use these kinds of bumper stickers, or at the very least, to use the generic ones rather than the customized ones.
The less information you give a potential burglar, the better.