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Last updated: March 11, 2023

The Personal Information Bumper Stickers Reveal

What does someone know about you from your bumper stickers alone?

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We all have our favorite bumper stickers. Perhaps you smile when you see a “Baby on Board” notice or laugh when you spot a “Honk If …” joke. Maybe you’re considering the next addition to your bumper because you are a proud parent of an honor roll student or a new dog owner. The charm of bumper stickers is enticing, but are your bumper stickers revealing personal information?

What Bumper Stickers Reveal About You

It’s not all fun and games when it comes to bumper stickers. Many police departments encourage drivers to consider what bumper stickers they put on their vehicles because they may reveal personal information.1 Without much thought, you could offer information about your schedule, family and valuables. Learn how bumper stickers say more than just a funny phrase.

Your Schedule

Avoid these bumper stickers with personal information about your schedule:

  • Church: A burglar could infer that you’re away from home on Sunday mornings.
  • Sports and extracurricular activities: Sports and extracurricular activity stickers can inform potential criminals about your children’s after-school schedule.
  • Vacation destinations: A sticker from the summer vacation destination you return to each year tells burglars that your home and vehicle may be unattended for long periods during the vacation season.

Your Family

Don’t choose bumper stickers that give away information about your family or life story, like:

  • Honor student: Honor student stickers reveal where your children attend school, making them an easy target.2
  • Military service or spouse: Military service or spouse stickers imply that a family member is often away.
  • Colleges and universities: College stickers on your college student’s car imply their age, where they go to school and where they might be at certain times. The Department of Justice notes the age group between 18 and 21 is particularly vulnerable to violent crime, so take any safety precautions available.3
  • Dog breeds: To protect your furry family members, avoid bumper stickers with your dog’s breed or name that could entice thieves.

Your Valuables

Skip the bumper stickers that could tell burglars about your big-ticket purchases:

  • Companies: A sticker with your company logo could indicate that you have a laptop or other valuable materials inside your vehicle on your way home.
  • National Rifle Association (NRA) or pro-gun stickers: An NRA or other pro-gun message may reflect your values, but it also indicates that you may have guns inside your car or home, which presents an opportunity for theft.
  • Classic car, motorcycle, ATV or boat: Anything like, “My other car is a _______,” tells people what other expensive vehicles you might have in your garage.

How to Protect Yourself From Threats

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.

Auto Theft

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.

Identity Theft

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

Home Burglaries

Here are some easy tips to avoid home burglaries:

  1. 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.
  2. Lock all doors and windows: Make this a habit even if you live in a safe neighborhood and people are home.
  3. 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.
  4. Invest in an alarm system: This one is self-explanatory but invest in an alarm system that will tell you if anything is amiss.
  5. 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.

Road Rage

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:

  1. Prioritize online safety.
  2. Set boundaries about the places your kids go.
  3. Never leave kids alone in a car or stroller.
  4. Carefully check references for caregivers.
  5. Talk to kids about interacting with strangers.

When in Doubt, Leave It Out

While bumper stickers are not the easiest way for criminals to discover your personal information, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bumper stickers can be too revealing. Plus, they may negatively affect the resale value of your vehicle.7 If you want peace of mind while you drive, invest in home and auto insurance coverages for theft and vandalism.


  1. Police: Your Bumper Stickers May Reveal Too Much About You. PHIL17 Morning News Desk. (2019, Oct 23).

  2. Police Issue Warning as They Reveal How Thieves Use Bumper Stickers as a Crime Blueprint. Newsweek. (2022, Feb 14).

  3. Age Patterns of Victims of Serious Violent Crime. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, U.S. Department of Justice. (1997, Jul).

  4. Bumper Stickers Could Open the Door for Identity Theft. Integral Networks. (2022, Nov 6).

  5. Help Pre­vent Iden­ti­ty Theft. Ken Paxton. (2023).

  6. Preventing Abductions. Nemours Kids Health. (2023).

  7. 10 Things That Will Kill Your Car’s Resale Value. Reader’s Digest. (2023, Jan 20).