I have a preppy Vineyard Vines whale sticker on my back window, an NPT for Newport, Rhode Island, a Spartan sticker from my Fenway Park race, and a 4ocean sticker promoting a global movement to reduce plastic and trash in our oceans. So what does that say about me if you're driving behind me? Innocent enough, right? Nope. This is basically stranger danger, but for adults.

A police detective once told me that although he'd love to have a decal of his police department and a thin blue line sticker on his personal vehicle, it could be dangerous to do so. Bumper stickers and window decals can very easily let someone know where you stand politically, financially, and socially, even if they're humorous, appear harmless, or simply show support for something you believe in.

Ukrainian flag on car
Getty Images/iStockphoto

This is why police around Massachusetts, New England, and really the entire country are urging you to remove all stickers from your car, even if they don't seem controversial. This recommendation isn't new, actually. However, in our tumultuous political climate, this reminder from law enforcement officials is making the rounds again.

It's purely a safety thing, as you never know who's driving behind you and decides to initiate road rage or follow you home to see where you live because of a sticker.

I don't mean to be dramatic, of course, and it's obviously your call. However, we lock our cars and homes, have doorbell cameras and alarm systems, and have security at events, so clearly, safety is key to most of us already.

Brightside YouTube
Brightside YouTube

According to Brightside, even the innocent family stick figure sticker has you giving criminals free information about your personal life.

Even though bumper stickers and window decals are a fun way to express your personality, hobbies, and passions, the innocent oversharing of your lifestyle may show criminals how many children you have and where they go to school, or if you like to travel overseas or have expensive hobbies.

Brightside YouTube
Brightside YouTube

Even the controversial pro-second amendment stickers indicate to thieves that you may have guns in your car or at home, while a pro-life or equality sticker could trigger someone, causing you danger. Simply put, it's just extra fuel for criminals.

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