BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — In keeping with National Preparedness Month, local governments are sharing tips about how to better prepare for emergencies, but some are also sharing tips about how to prevent emergencies from happening.

The City of Bridgeport shared an infographic on its Facebook page Tuesday that may cause some to re-think their bumper sticker collection. The image, titled “What information are you DRIVING around?” shows a car covered in various stickers that are innocuous enough, but that reveal a lot of information to criminals who might be looking for a target.

Here’s the information that your car might reveal to criminals, according to the City of Bridgeport:

  • Personalized license plates: Personalized plates are easier to remember, which makes it easier for someone to recall if they want to keep track of your vehicle or if you unintentionally offend them. A memorized plate can also be used to find your VIN number, which from there, can reveal more personal information.
  • Parking permits: While it’s more convenient to leave them out, parking permits can reveal where you live and/or work.
  • Hunting-related stickers: Your house or vehicle may have expensive equipment inside of it. Additionally, you’re revealing that you’ll likely be gone on hunting trips, leaving the house unattended for long periods of time.
  • Dog breed stickers: These are a queue to someone who may be looking for a house to rob that they don’t need to worry about a large dog at your house. If the sticker includes the name of your pet, a criminal could also learn how to call your dog to them.
  • “Baby on Board” signs and stickers: While the intent behind these is to encourage other drivers to be safe around you, these signs also tell criminals that when you’re getting into and out of your car, your hands will likely be full, and you’ll be distracted.
  • “Proud parents of an ________ _________ School honor roll student”: This lets anyone who looks at your car know where your kids go to school.
  • Stickers from your kids’ extracurricular activities: These can reveal where your kids spend their time after school, some also reveal the names of your children, which someone could call, as well as the fact that your family will likely be out of the house for hours at a time for practices and games.
  • ATV, bike, and other vehicle stickers: These let people know what might be found in your garage.
  • “________ wife”: Those who work in certain occupations are gone for extended periods of time, meaning their spouses are home alone with the children.
Different types of bumper stickers and the information they can reveal. Source: City of Bridgeport’s Facebook page.
Downtowngal, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons