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Got decals? The personal information your car stickers may reveal

Posted October 5, 2020 8:34 a.m. EDT

Crime prevention experts say it's important to protect personal information, whether it's posted on social media or stuck to a car window.

Bumper stickers and window decals say something about the car's owner, and they may say too much.

"Anything that you put on your car or on your house or out in the public, whether you think so or not, can be used for alternative messaging," says Cerise Peck, a crime prevention specialist with the Richland, Washington Police Department.

Peck says something that seems innocuous, like a sticker about paddleboarding, may reveal more than it should.

"You know there's a possibility that somebody's going to notice that paddleboard sticker and they'll know that I have quite a bit of equipment at home, and it does," she explains. "It's the same with any hobby that you have."

Parents who like to put their child's accomplishments on the family car may be oversharing as well. Information about hobbies, clubs and other activities could be used by those with ill intent.

Still, Peck isn't urging everyone to peel those stickers off the bumper.

"We just wanted to shine a different light on what could be advertised by using those types of stickers," she says.

Revealing too much to too many could open yourself and your family to be unsuspecting victims of a crime.

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