What Information About Your Family Are You Driving Around?

informationI have two magnets on my car — one is my older son’s soccer academy and the other is his middle school. I count hundreds of magnets just like these every day on other cars we pass by. Then there are the stickers — the little stick families or “my kid is an honor roll student” at some local elementary… you know the ones I’m talking about.

The one sticker that has always made me shake my head when I see it displayed on vehicles is “baby on board.” Maybe it’s my anxious nature, but I always wondered what good can come from advertising your baby in the car. It seems like an easy way for someone to know that you may be an easier target.

I saw an article the other day on this very topic: What do our bumper stickers and magnets really tell people? For some, you’re introducing your family by name and their extracurricular activities. You’re telling people where you work, where you attend church and maybe even live, and where your children go to school. Personalized license plates may have your first or even last name on them.

These are all intended to be fun and harmless, and many people would never think twice about what they are putting on their vehicles, but maybe we should. Does the soccer magnet, like in our case, inform people you’re gone some evenings at practice or games on the weekend? This could give strangers enough information they need to break in or approach your children and appear to be a friend of the family.

Have a pet sticker on your car? Does it include their name and breed? Could this provide information to someone on how to possibly get your dog to calm down if they entered your home by calling out their name? Without this information, a simple bark often deters a bad guy from entering a home because they don’t know the dog’s size or breed.

The one I didn’t think about that the article pointed out was if you have a decal or something showing off that you like to boat or motorbike or hunt — that could imply that you have expensive “toys” in the garage or even your car.

There’s a lot wrong in our world today, and unfortunately, there are bad people in our communities. I know this sounds extreme — and I thought so at first, too. But then I started thinking about it and really paying attention to what we see driving around. If anything, I hope this at least prompts you to think about the information on display and if there’s a more discreet way to show your interests and hobbies.

Kerry Schicker
Boy mom. Household CEO. Corporate leader. Outdoor lover. Social seeker. Sun worshipper. Curious traveler. Champagne enthusiast. These words describe me, Kerry Schicker, and contributor for Jacksonville Mom. I first approached founders Vicky and Megan after a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I had a very unpleasant experience with my OB at the time and I needed to get it off my chest so I wrote an anonymous blog that resonated with some of our readers. I have since written dozens of blogs mostly about motherhood. I have a passion for writing. My 20-year career has grown through some form of writing including TV news reporting and producing, magazine publishing, public relations, advertising, marketing, blogging and my current day job doing HR and employee communications for a Fortune 300 FinTech company. I am thankful that Jacksonville has such a supportive community for moms like me, and I can't imagine raising my two boys anywhere else.


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