Here’s important cyber security news from Bryce Austin of TCE Strategy about something usually don’t give much thought to: how we write the date on documents we sign.
Bryce Austin distributes a monthly newsletter with cyber security updates. Everything he shares is incredibly important and helpful, but this particular advice floored me because it’s something I’d never heard about or considered: whether or not to write out the date on documents. Here’s what he advised:
“Updating dates from one year to the next is normally not a concern, other than most people accidentally writing 2019 instead of 2020 for most of January. But 2020 is different, in that abbreviating the year to 2-digits leaves an opening for a kind of fraud.
Here is the issue: last year, if you wrote a date of 1/1/19, it wasn’t a problem. 19 stood for 2019, and it was generally accepted that 19 means 2019. This year, if you write a date of 1/1/20, someone could simply add two digits to the end of the date and change the year. 1/1/20 could be written to say 1/1/2018 or 1/1/2021, and in doing so, they may succeed in invalidating a contract. This year it is important to write-out a 4-digit year for everything you sign (or type).”
Since reading Bryce’s advice, I’ve been writing out the year on every document I sign, whether they are paper or digital. I know the chances are slim that it will happen, but why open yourself up to that kind of mess when you can take an extra second to write out the year?
Here’s to your cyber safety!
About Bryce Austin: