There are many ways to protect yourself from the sticky situations outlined above. Of course, not loading the back of your car with bumper stickers is a good start, but it’s not the only way criminals can find opportunities for auto theft, identity theft, home burglaries and other serious crimes. Protect yourself as best you can and be prepared for a burglary.
Protect yourself from auto theft and burglary by installing antitheft tools like alarms and GPS tracking systems (if they don’t come standard in your vehicle). In the event of an auto theft, the best way to ensure you’re made whole is to purchase comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage includes protection if a thief makes off with your vehicle or steals expensive parts. It covers damage from bad weather and vandalism, as well.
It’s important to note that comprehensive insurance does not cover the theft of personal items. Add off-premises coverage to your homeowners or renters insurance policy and your insurance company will reimburse you for items stolen from your car.
Even without revealing personal information via bumper stickers, you could still provide thieves with unwanted details about your identity. Avoid putting your name or date of birth on a personalized license plate. Fun license plates can give someone information you use elsewhere for passwords.4
On that note, use different and strong passwords for each website, especially for your bank accounts and other websites that store sensitive information. One of the best ways to stop identity theft is to proactively monitor credit reports, bank statements and credit card accounts for fraudulent charges so you can report them to the proper authorities.5
Here are some easy tips to avoid home burglaries:
- Make your home look occupied at all times: If you’re going to be away, set a random timer on your lights to make it look like you’re in your home at night.
- Lock all doors and windows: Make this a habit even if you live in a safe neighborhood and people are home.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked: You never know when someone could forget to lock the door that connects your home and your garage. Lock the garage door at all times.
- Invest in an alarm system: This one is self-explanatory but invest in an alarm system that will tell you if anything is amiss.
- Hold your mail while you’re away at home: Pause your newspaper subscription and hold your mail at the post office if you go on vacation so that it doesn’t pile up outside, an obvious sign that no one is home.
We define road rage as aggressive or angry behaviors motorists show while driving, including but not limited to yelling, tailgating, weaving and speeding. Avoid tickets and road rage incidents by remaining calm and practicing defensive driving techniques.
Bumper stickers related to politics can agitate other drivers and lead to unsafe or retaliatory driving practices. Play it safe by removing political affiliations and other cause-driven bumper stickers from the back of your vehicle.
Kidnapping or Stalking
Again, it is unlikely that a bumper sticker in and of itself will cause a violent or otherwise traumatizing crime. However, we recommend avoiding bumper stickers that reveal the whereabouts of your children. Family members or acquaintances are most likely to abduct kids and teens.6 Here are some ways to prevent abductions:
- Prioritize online safety.
- Set boundaries about the places your kids go.
- Never leave kids alone in a car or stroller.
- Carefully check references for caregivers.
- Talk to kids about interacting with strangers.