By: Hope Wells, REALTOR®
Stop Giving People Your Information!
Let me start by reminding y’all that I used to work for police departments. I have had a lot of interesting calls over the years; accidents, car theft, shootings, stabbings, robberies, barking dogs, I even worked a fight call where the idiot, hiding from the officers, fell out of the sky and at the feet of the officer. Turns out he was hiding on a roof that was covered in ceramic tile, in the rain…. Not a good plan for solid footing. It shocked the hell out of the officer who had just keyed up his radio to call in. I believe his response, before he remembered he was on the radio, was “Damn, they’re falling out of the sky…” I still laugh at the surprise in his voice. While a lot of the calls had successful conclusions or turned out to be nothing at all, it was always a horrifying call to take when someone’s home had been robbed or worse, their child had gone missing, and especially when the caller knew how the bad guys got their foot in the door.
I will admit to a dumb thing or two… I left my purse in an unlocked car in the driveway of my home. It never occurred to me that our neighborhood was not safe enough to do that. Yupp, it got stolen. Everyone in our neighborhood got hit that night. None of us locked up our cars. The guy across the street lost his laptop that night. I also left an EMPTY purse on a back seat at a store once. Never occurred to me that someone would break the window of my truck in broad daylight in a busy parking lot for an EMPTY purse, but yep, they did. A lot of people leave garage door openers in their cars, or have it programmed into their vehicles. Seems like that shouldn’t be a big deal? Do you also have your address in the car, maybe on a piece of mail or on your registration? Do you lock the door between your house and your garage? How long would it be before you noticed someone stole your garage door opener and then potentially robbed your house? See where I am going with this….
We give scammers and criminals the keys to our kingdoms every single day. Another way that people give criminals the keys to their kingdom is by what they put on their cars. Those innocent looking bumper stickers supporting your church, well now the criminals know where you are on Sundays. The family stickers that show how many people and their sizes, especially the ones with names, now they know who you are, and what your children’s names are, sometimes even what kind of pets you have and their names. How easy does it become to approach a child who is off by themselves if a kidnapper knows their name, their pet’s name, their sport, instrument, hobby, team, or any of the other things that we, as parents, put on our cars or social media to exclaim our pride in them and their accomplishments? How heartbroken would you be if it were that information that cost you a child?
There are so many ways to protect ourselves these days, but the first and best one is to stop giving your information away. I have included a link with some suggestions on family safety and cyber safety.
Stay Safe and Keep Your Loved Ones Close!