Cyber Security Update – Do You Write Out the Date on Digital Documents?

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:

Bryce Austin, CEO of TCE Strategy, provides CIO and CISO advisory level services and is a keynote speaker around the globe. Please click here to talk to Bryce about how he can help your organization.

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead? The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits. Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.


  1. Peggy Foerster on February 24, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Paul and I had heard about/read about this same issue, and write out the full “2020” on everything!

    Thanks for spreading the word!

    • Helene Segura on February 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Excellent, Peggy! Hope you’re doing well!

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