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April 12, 2006 - Wednesday
"Why do we burn stuff with our names on it?" Harry asked as I was throwing some crinkled up junk mail into the wood stove.
It's something I do regularly and it's a good question. But how do you explain identity theft to a 6-year-old?
"You know how there are robbers who steal things?"
"Well, there's also a type of robber who steals money by pretending to be someone else. How they do it is find someone's name on something like one of these credit card applications and fill it out pretending to be that person. Then they buy all sorts of stuff at the store using that other person's money. That's a different kind of stealing, but it's still stealing. We have the alarm for robbers who might come to our house, just to be safe and I burn these papers with our name on it just to be as safe as we can be about not letting someone do that to us."

Who knows how much sense that makes to Harry? I suspect it makes some sense because he certainly is at an age for learning about the "bad guys" of the world.

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