Families are being urged to think twice about sticking car stickers onto their vehicles as they could make them an easier target for thieves.
But while these signs are innocent, others giving away information about hobbies or schools are best avoided, according to police.
It comes after a warning was issued earlier this year over the dangers of personalising children's clothing.
South Bend Police Detective Brian Kendall, warned, "One thing that's big with this child predator thing is you put your kid's schools on there. Well, now they know where your kids go to school and that's obviously more personal than any kind of valuables you might have."
But it's not just children's details, adult hobbies could be risky too.
Allen County Sheriff's Department shared an info graphic to Facebook to highlight the personal details simple stickers can give away and captioned it, "We love to show off the things we are proud of, but are you putting your family's safety and security at risk? A consideration next time you go to put that sticker on your car..."
For example a car sticker which says 'I'd rather be fishing' is informing people that you go fishing, and that you might have expensive equipment either stored in the car boot or at home. It also enables someone to work out when you're likely to be away from your property - especially if you attend local fishing competitions or if the stickers are in support of a local children's football team, as criminals would be able to find out when football training is.
Detective Kendall said, "It's great, but there's people that have a criminal mindset that see that and they're thinking, 'If there is a hockey team, they're gone at hockey practices, on the weekend for tournaments, plus hockey equipment is expensive, so they might have that stuff in the house.'"
Proud parents also might want to tell everyone how great their kid is at playing the guitar or mountain biking, but he warned that it's best to do it in other ways.
Detective Kendall has warned families to take precautions with these personal signs, and keep your possessions secured in case someone tries to break in.
"The best thing is obviously leave everything locked, lock your house up, that way people can't come in," he said. "Don't leave valuables or personal information in your car."
And families are grateful for the warning. One parent wrote, "Great information. Thank you for sharing!!!"
Another put, "Actually I never thought about stickers/decals like these possibly making people targets, but it does make sense. Criminals use whatever means they have at their at disposal to make doing their illegal activities easier so why help them?"
While a third added, "Schools tell us not to put children’s names on the outside of their backpacks. It’s not fear, it’s doing whatever it takes to keep our kids safe."
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Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)
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