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Bumper Stickers Could Open the Door For Identity Theft

Bryan Badger avatar
Written by Bryan Badger posted on Nov 6, 2022

Key Points:

  • Car bumper stickers are the last thing you'd consider harmless when talking about protecting personal information.
  • After all, many identity thieves stay indoors.
  • However, the criminals haven't given up trying to scam you and know exactly where to go to after acting on the slightest hints you give them.
  • The cute bumper stickers at the back of your car could be like leaving your keys on the doorstep.
  • With bumper stickers, you might unknowingly reveal personal information to criminals, which they can use to stage an attack.

Personal information is the currency of thieves. While you might be taking all measures to protect your personal information online, some of your offline habits can unknowingly reveal crucial information to attackers.

Your car bumper stickers can broadcast your life story, family history, and tendencies. For instance, bumper stickers touting your kid's hobby can get a criminal's attention, creating a starting point for building your profile that can aid in a burglary or worse.

Specific Ways Bumper Stickers Could Make You a Target

Your bumper stickers and window decals say something about you — and they might say too much. Criminals can decode information from any bumper sticker you put on your car, and use it against you. The bumper stickers could tell criminals your schedule, personal information, and even what you own in your home.

According to crime prevention experts, attackers can interpret some information from bumper stickers in the following ways:

  • The Baby on Board Sticker: The sticker tells the world that you are busy and can easily be distracted by a baby, making you an easy target for a criminal. If the criminal finds out that the driver is a woman, they can see her as more vulnerable and easy to steal from.
  • Oilfield Spouse Bumper Sticker: The bumper sticker tells potential criminals that your spouse is often away and can plan an appropriate time for a burglary.
  • A Sticker With a Motorcycle, Boat, or Other Pricey Toy:  The sticker advertises that you like nice and expensive things that might be easy to find in your garage.
  • Personalized number plate: Customized plates are unique and fun. However, they make you easily identifiable and recognizable, which attackers can use to track you.
  • Images of your dog breed and puppy's name: The sticker tells everyone and the perpetrator the type of animal to expect and how to call them by name to avoid appearing threatening.
  • Stickers advertising hobbies like hunting: Such a bumper sticker might suggest you have expensive equipment in your home, and you might be away during the peak season.
  • School name that kids attend: This bumper sticker tells attackers where your kids go to school and may be used to track your daily movements or expose your kids to danger.
  • Cheer and soccer sticker: Such a bumper sticker tells the world that you have children and that you probably spend most evenings at practice. A criminal can then plan the best time to execute a raid at your home.
  • Military bumper sticker: The sticker can tell crooks that your household has someone serving overseas. The same applies if you have a pro-gun sticker, which might signal to criminals that you have guns in your home or car.

There are many more stickers you might want to avoid placing on your car to protect your personal information. Many people might not have thought about the repercussions of having certain bumper stickers, but it's better to proceed with care.

One wrong bumper sticker can invite strangers into your home and reveal personal information about you, your kids, your hobbies, and your lifestyle, which might be unwise.

Some Bumper Stickers Make You an Easy Victim of Crime

While placing stickers on a vehicle is your choice, you might not know how much information you're revealing to the public. The thought that a bumper sticker could be a concern hasn't crossed the mind of many drivers.

However, some bumpers stickers give away personal information that you would otherwise not be comfortable sharing with strangers.

A potential criminal can use the information to social engineer into your account. Once they get access to your account, they can steal your money, open a bank account in your name, or steal your identity.

Alternatively, criminals can decode information on a bumper sticker and start creating your profile. You should avoid bumper stickers that make you an easy crime target. Keep your personal information safe.

You Shouldn't Scrape Off All Your Bumper Stickers Though

While criminals can use bumper stickers to prepare and launch an attack against you, you shouldn't lose yourself. You don't need to be scared or scrape every bumper sticker from your car. Instead, put a little more thought into what bumper stickers you place on your vehicle.

Having a bumper sticker doesn't guarantee you'll fall victim, but you should avoid anything that overshares your personal information. Criminals seek information from the slightest hint you give them, and your bumper can be a culprit.

Avoid Oversharing on the Road

There are several ways to express yourself in today's world. One thing most people may not have considered or overlooked is how much they share with the public without realizing it, and bumper stickers are the perfect example.

Many people don't think twice about the little stickers on the back of the car can give out a lot of information to random strangers. If any of the strangers is a criminal, they can readily use the information to their advantage.

While everyone is aware that they shouldn't overshare information online, people must be mindful of what they share with other drivers. Without knowing it, people reveal more information to strangers than they would have liked to.

When placing a bumper sticker on a vehicle, you should consider what information you'll reveal to strangers. If the sticker isn't giving way too much, it may be safe to put it on the back of your car without worry.

Integral Networks Can Help You Protect Your Privacy Online and Offline

Making a few simple changes to your approach on bumper stickers can help you maintain security against outside parties and protect your privacy from people with criminal intent.

At Integral Networks, we can help you identify instances of oversharing and offer ways to protect yourself, your business, and your family against attacks. Contact us today to get help on how to keep personal data safe.

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