We live in a time where sharing information about our personal lives is becoming more and more common. Whether we are aware of it or not, every time we post something on the internet, we are giving the public a glimpse into our private worlds. Social media is one avenue where we tend to share photos and location “check-ins” on a regular basis without giving much thought to how many people are actually accessing this information.
Outside of the internet, there are still ways that people can gather information about us whether we intend to put it out there or not. For example, more and more households are beginning to adorn their cars with cute stickers that proudly show off their family members and various hobbies. You’ve probably seen them before – they’re simple but adorable car decals of people and pets. While they are a fun way of showing off the amazing family that you have, they may not be as harmless as we thought.
There are a number of companies that sell these stickers. They can be purchased online and customized to depict you and your family in various outfits or holding different objects.
Many people see it as a fun and harmless way to showcase their families and the hobbies that each member enjoys. There are also different themes and characters, such as Star Wars and Minions.
Monica Liebenow and her husband, Phil Barham, founded My Family car stickers back in 2009.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes, so it stands to reason that each set of My Family™ stickers will be totally different and will consist of a unique combination of stickers to suit the individuals in each family,” it says on their website. “Our family stickers range from golf-playing dads to pregnant mums to superhero kids.”
However, police have begun expressing concerns about the potential hazards that these stickers can pose. While most people would not think much of these decals, it could give burglars enough information about a family and their lives to make them a good target for a crime.
Terry Goldsworthy, a criminologist at Bond University and a former police officer, cautioned that displaying these stickers on your car is not unlike sharing your information on social media.
“Then they know your family structure, your car, and where you live,” he explained. “So, while by themselves the stickers may not be of importance, together it can all add up.”
For example, some wives may proudly display a sticker that shows their husbands are in the military. While that is definitely something to be proud of, it could also alert potential burglars that the husband is away from home a lot. A wife who is home alone with children can be a compelling target for thieves.
Burglars will often scope out a neighborhood to see which homes are the most vulnerable. These car decals can provide invaluable information to them about the number of people in the house, as well as when the house will likely be empty.
Stickers showcasing kids in soccer uniforms, for example, can mean that the family is likely not home during the evening because they are with their children at their extracurricular activities.
This safety concern doesn’t only revolve around these family stickers, though. Other types of bumper stickers can give out a lot of information as well. Your parking pass can tell people where you live or work, and school stickers can inform others about where your children attend school.
While it is perfectly acceptable to want to show off our awesome family and hobbies, just remember to be careful about how much of your private life you are sharing with the public. For more information on this potential danger, check out the video below:
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