Most people have at least 1 bumper sticker on their car. As cute as they are though, could your car’s bumper sticker be putting your family at risk?
Police have long warned about giving away too much personal information and bumper stickers are one thing most don’t think about. Having these cute decals on you car detailing everything from where you live, and where you vacation to what school your children attend makes it easy for criminals and predators to follow your every move and target you.
So what can you do to minimize the risk of putting your family in danger? Carefully think about a sticker or decal before placing it on your car. Does it give away too much personal information?
As a general rule, bumper stickers of just logos, slogans, or phrases are usually fine. Anything that gives more detailed or personal information is a big no-no. You definitely should not have any stickers with your children’s names on it. This makes it too easy for someone to approach them pretending to know them or the family.
A good example of what to avoid is the “honor roll student” bumper stickers. As proud of a parent as you are, it is probably best not to let a potential predator know where your children attend school. The same goes for stickers with information about the sports team’s they (or you) are on.
Often, placing stickers with information on where you live is unavoidable since many residential communities require it. You can, however, avoid putting a sticker from your place of employment, gym, or club you are a member of.
It’s also important to have a discussion with your children about safety and talking to strangers. Come up with a code word or phrase that would help them know if another person was really sent by you or if they are potentially in danger. Teach them how to call 911, how to look and ask for help, and what to do in dangerous situations.
Regardless of what bumper stickers you have or not on your car, always be well aware of your surroundings. If something seems suspicious or just doesn’t feel right, call the local non-emergency number, 911, or drive into a well-lit, public area were you can ask for help.