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Social security and tax number, nicknamed My Number, has launched in Japan! Originally, it was planned only as a tax number system, but expansion to social security was also adopted after a public outcry of over thirty years. The release of My Number has been delayed due to many Japanese citizen’s concerns with the tax system and government control. The unfairness of collecting taxes has been controversial for decades, and now people feel a mix of expectations and anxiety. 90% of the Japanese government income comes from taxes with 60% coming from industry employed workers and the other 30% from self-employed workers. With My Number's launch, industry employed workers are expecting tax collection to be fairer, but some are still suspicious that the government will abuse the system to gain more control. Amid all the excitement in Japan, the global population understands that tax information is sensitive and must be kept confidential. If this information falls into the wrong hands, identity theft and monetary fraud is almost certain. But there are ways to protect you and your family from divulging sensitive information like My Number.

Recently, Japanese media has reported identity theft cases from around the world and many are worried it could happen to them. The most common identity theft is child identity thefts. The latest security breach was seen on US soil as 21.5 million Social Security Numbers (SSNs) were hacked. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) admitted back in July 2015 that millions of individual SSNs were stolen, along with “fingerprint records and other information from background check investigations.” This is being seen as a bad precedent on Japanese soil.

But there is something you can do to protect you and your family. For Japanese families, you should familiarize yourself with frequently asked questions of My Number. For everyone, you can apply the best security available to protect your valuable information.

Whether you have received your My Number in Japan or a Social Security Number in the United States, encryption is best practice to protect confidential information. Storing your sensitive information on a private or public cloud can be risky. However, using FIPS 140-2 certified encryption technology assures that only you can access that information. Dropbox, box, OneDrive, Google Drive or other popular cloud storage providers don’t offer the best encryption available to the public. Applying client-side encryption to your files before storing them in the cloud protects your data, even if there is a security breach at Microsoft, Google, or your particular storage provider. Protect that which is undoubtedly yours. Encrypt your data and prevent any sensitive information from hackers and security breaches.

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