Those car stickers of people’s families on the back windscreens of cars are one of my favourite things. Because I’m a sticky beak.
But apparently I’m not the only one piecing together the lives of fellow drivers from the white figurines. So, too, are crims.
Seriously. Bad guys are making judgements based on ‘sticker families’ to figure out when they may/ may not be home so they can rob their house.
Here’s how my internal monologue goes when I see a sticker family: A family of seven and a dog? Hmm. How do they manage Saturday morning sport? A woman and a cat? In-ter-esting. Has she left space for more stickers or is she happy with just two?
But a potential thief? It’s more like: A Dad wearing an army uniform? Not home much. A kid playing soccer? Needs to be picked up after training. The Mum in this vid thought they were harmless. Now, she’s not so sure.
American authorities are warning families against putting too many signs on the back of their cars – it’s simply too much information – and not just for sticky beaks like me. Given the craze has been going gangbusters in Australia (we invented the sticker family, Aussie Aussie Aussie!), perhaps we should be heading the same advice.
In a campaign to warn families to strip back on personal information – American police are using different stickers to show how easy it is for the ‘bad guys’ to come to simple conclusions. Take a look:
I get it. But, really?
Just because someone has a picture of a sausage dog doesn’t mean they don’t have a back-to-base alarm with a siren loud enough to scare the pants off Beyonce’s bodyguard. Just because someone has a picture of five kids doesn’t mean they actually drop them off to school personally every day. “Catch the bus”, mum cries.
It’s gotta be a pretty desperate crim who spends his days trailing cars, squinting at little white stickmen to figure out when a family is out of the house.
But let’s look at the broader picture.
If I were a crim, with half an idea, I’d be doing a little … collaboration. After checking out your Family Stickers, I’d do a little more digging. Read your name from mail I’ve stolen from your letterbox, find your Instagram/ Facebook, flick through holiday photos with all of the family members featured in the above mentioned Family Stickers which were taken THIS MORNING. BINGO.
House successfully cased.
So, I guess the message is – if you want to be super-safe (and get a little bit of ol’ fashioned privacy back in your life), pull the stickers off your car. But given that my super criminal mind (as demonstrated above) was relying on a few other factors…. maybe just lock your doors.
Do you have a stick figure family on your car? Have you got ANY stickers on your car? Why? (Or why not?)