Sticker Shock: Are our cars giving away too much? - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Sticker Shock: Are our cars giving away too much?

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Our personal information is usually not something we like to broadcast, but there are thousands of people who do exactly that, right on the back of their vehicles. KNOE reporter Jillian Corder explores the world of vehicle decals and its potential dangers in "Sticker Shock."

Society warns us of the dangers that lurk on the internet, such as predators that may be searching for us on social media. Parents warn children about putting too much information on the web. With our focus on every click, are we forgetting about information we might be putting elsewhere, like on the highway.

"These are typical ball stickers, they have the name of the school usually, and what grade the kids are in," says Wade Rawls as he describes some of the many window decals he makes at his West Monroe shop.

We see them everywhere, vehicle stickers in about every size, shape and style. According the Rawls, those celebrating and promoting children are by far the most popular.

One woman we spoke with in the mall parking lot gives her name away, along with how many children she has on her back windshield. We asked Lisa Marie if she ever thought about everyone knowing her name and family information while she's driving down the street.

"No, it's not creepy," Lisa says, "it all started with the Hello Kitty stickers and went from there."

"I've seen where you can barely see out of the back window," says Wade Rawls, "like 7 or 8, however many kids somebody has, that's how many stickers they'll have on their car."

"What parents need to be concerned about or certainly aware of, is not revealing too much about themselves or their children," says Nancy McBride of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Whether it's a predator on the highway or even a parking lot, are we making it too easy for them to find out information about our families? Read a sticker, and a simple internet search later, we know so much, maybe too much, about a child and her family.

"When you put that information (on a car), I understand you want to be proud of your kids, you should praise your children every time they do something good or belong to an organization, but when you're putting that information out there you don't know who's seeing it," say Louisiana State Police Trooper Albert Paxton.

Unlike social media, the highway doesn't have privacy settings. Knowing where a child goes to school, what sports they play, or activities they're in, each may seem like an innocent way to applaud their success. Instead, it can simply and easily give predators your child's name, age, grade, school and daily schedule from near sun-up to sun-down.

"We have over 700,000 registered sex offenders living in this country and at least 100,000 of them are an accounted for," says McBride.

These predators finding victims not just on the internet but on your neighborhood streets. So we ask you, is your vehicle giving away too much?

The special report "Sticker Shock" continues Thursday, on KNOE 8 News at Ten. KNOE reporter Jillian Corder explores the world of vehicle decals and its potential dangers in "sticker Shock."

Society warns us of the dangers that lurk on the internet, such as predators that may be searching for us on social media. Parents warn children about putting too much information on the web. With our focus on every click, are we forgetting about information we might be putting elsewhere, like on the highway.

"These are typical ball stickers, they have the name of the school usually, and what grade the kids are in," says Wade Rawls as he describes some of the many window decals he makes at his West Monroe shop.

We see them everywhere, vehicle stickers in about every size, shape and style. According the Rawls, those celebrating and promoting children are by far the most popular.

One woman we spoke with in the mall parking lot gives her name away, along with how many children she has on her back windshield. We asked Lisa Marie if she ever thought about everyone knowing her name and family information while she's driving down the street.

"No, it's not creepy," Lisa says, "it all started with the Hello Kitty stickers and went from there."

"I've seen where you can barely see out of the back window," says Wade Rawls, "like 7 or 8, however many kids somebody has, that's how many stickers they'll have on their car."

"What parents need to be concerned about or certainly aware of, is not revealing too much about themselves or their children," says Nancy McBride of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Whether it's a predator on the highway or even a parking lot, are we making it too easy for them to find out information about our families? Read a sticker, and a simple internet search later, we know so much, maybe too much, about a child and her family.

"When you put that information (on a car), I understand you want to be proud of your kids, you should praise your children every time they do something good or belong to an organization, but when you're putting that information out there you don't know who's seeing it," say Louisiana State Police Trooper Albert Paxton.

Unlike social media, the highway doesn't have privacy settings. Knowing where a child goes to school, what sports they play, or activities they're in, each may seem like an innocent way to applaud their success. Instead, it can simply and easily give predators your child's name, age, grade, school and daily schedule from near sun-up to sun-down.

"We have over 700,000 registered sex offenders living in this country and at least 100,000 of them are an accounted for," says McBride.

Our children are of course a primary concern, but what about ourselves.

"One's business, one's personal belief," says one man talking about his own stickers on his trucks.

Support of your business, superbowl favorite, maybe your college parking sticker, adults have many innocent stickers on their car, yet some spark controversy.

"People behind you might not necessarily carry the same view as you do. Some people may not be able to keep their feelings to themselves."

While angering the driver behind you may not be your intent, it can certainly happen. But we're not just talking about road rage, some have information on the vehicles about where they work. "Oil field life" for example

"When people want to go hurt your kids, rob your house, they're going to try to figure out if your there or not or when you're going to be there or when you are not going to be there that's the perfect opportunity," says LSP Trooper Albert Paxton.

Suspects "casing" your home, tracking your schedule, it's nothing new in the world of crime. These decals present an opportunity a simple "drive by" of information. Maybe the true "Sticker Shock" is just how easy we're making it for criminals.

These predators finding victims not just on the internet but on your neighborhood streets. So we ask you, is your vehicle giving away too much?

For helpful information on child and personal safety you can visit any of the following websites:

http://www.missingkids.com/home

http://www.lsp.org/

http://www.lsp.org/socpr/disclaimer.html

 

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