Bumper sticker. A pride? Perhaps a breach of personal security.
Is your car covered with different symbols of children (girl, boy, more children), your hobbies, activities, sports, animals, or pets? Such decals/stickers reveal information which make it easier for criminals collecting information for third parties to spy on you or pay an unwanted visit to your house.
What do your car and things covering the car suggest?
Listed below are a few examples of why it is not appropriate to cover your car or family cars with stickers. Such a behavior can have the effect that you provide the public with more information than necessary and, in particular, safe. Such stickers can reveal what you like to do, what the names of your children are, whether you have any children, where you are employed, what places you go to, what things you enjoy, how your family spends its spare time.
Social status, financial situation, and way of life
If expensive things are your passion, it is a motive. It can include, for example, your hobby, bikes, golf, watches. Anything that can be communicated through apposite sticker. If you can afford more expensive hobbies and things, it is likely that items of higher value will be sitting in your home and attract the attention of individuals who would like to get hold of them. You increase the risk of theft, robbery, or mugging. Right in your home.
Finally, you make it known to those surrounding you where you spend your time, what places you go to, and where you like to stay. Therefore, golf clubs on the sticker can indicate that you like to play golf and, most probably, you spend a lot of time there. And you do not stay close to your home. Unless you live in a golf complex 😊.
A hunter, red deer, boar target sticker can indicate that you are a hunter. And you go hunting, particularly during the season. You stay out of home, during the day and at night.
A fisherman, shark, fish, fishing rod sticker. Another hobby revealing your possible behavior. Fishermen usually leave their home in the dark early hours of the morning.
Your profession is certainly your passion if your car is talking about it. Being proud of one’s occupation is genuinely nice, but it is mainly a safety risk. It is easy to guess where you work and how long your work shifts are, if you are a soldier, fireman, police officer, rescuer, helpline operator. Your working hours are readily ascertainable. For example, firemen in the Slovak Republic have 24-hour service shifts. It means that, most probably, you will not stay home for 24 hours.
Animals, pets. We love them and they are a part of us. Personally, I do not think a sticker of a hamster or guinea pig would be somehow legible in terms of your home safety. But if you own a Great Dane, Doberman, German Shepherd, or any other large or guard dog breed able to fulfill its role of a guard, or is at least a deterrent due to its size, do not advertise it. A thief can prepare himself/herself for meeting (disarming) your pet guarding your house. If the thief is not aware of it, it is more than likely that he/she will come across your dog when attacking your home and refrain from any action.
Children and family
Anyone who believes that it is a good thing to boast about having a child on board, because he/she will be given priority and will be treated more respectfully, is wrong. In my opinion, it does not work like this. And it is unfounded in law.
As soon as you cover your car with stickers of family, baby in stroller, baby in car seat, etc., you advertise your greatest weakness. The attacker knows that if you must choose between valuables and your child, you choose your child. It means that you will not leave your child alone in an unsecured place to chase the thief. You may have to choose between money or your child, wife, children. Health and human life will always be worth more than valuables, money, etc.
A sticker with activity of your children discloses what they do, where they do so, and when they will most probably be in your presence. You reveal your habits again. You will be vulnerable when driving your child from an extra-curricular activity in a luxury car. In case of carjacking and carjacking attempt, your child and the protection of his/her health and life will be the only thing you will be interested in. And the attacker can count on it
Stickers with names of your children or names of all the family. Absolutely inappropriate! You will make it easier for a potential carjacker to identify your child easily. One need only call your child by his/her name and the child will turn his/her head unwittingly to the person calling him/her. Your child has been identified!
Listed above are a few examples of how a bumper sticker can breach your security. But not all stickers are like that. Look at your car and think about whether you do not tell more that you should to the people surrounding you and to strangers. Reflect on whether such sticker should be removed. If yes, do it and remove it. No praise is worth the life and health of your next of kin!
Be aware of your surroundings. Assume responsibility. Be a learner, a non-expert level will also suffice. Might come in handy one day!
MA. Juraj Imrich MBA, MSc., LL.M., CMAS
Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist
Section Leader Slovakia International Police Organization