The 2020 Bug!

Kabir (ko-bir)
Jan 9, 2020 · 2 min read

Remember when we had the Millennium bug in 2000? The bug that was going to wipe out all our financial institutions? It didn’t happen. If you were too young to remember, it was a scare that overtook the world that because many older computer systems — mainframes — were programmed to only store the short form of the year in the date field in their databases. The switch from 1999 to 2000 would look like we went backward from 99 to 00. Thankfully most systems were updated worldwide just in time so that the Millennium bug never caused any serious trouble! But I have discovered a 2020 bug — granted it is not of the same scale as the Millenium bug, but it can still cause some harm to you! So read on.

In America, we use m/d/y format to write a date in a bank check or a document, which confuses the rest of the world as they use d/m/y format instead. But that is not the reason why you shouldn’t write dates in m/d/20 format this year. Don’t use the shorthand version because your date can be easily altered to a previous year.

For example, if you write 01/31/20 on a check and tell someone to cash it at the end of January 2020, they can easily change the date to 01/31/2019 and make it effective as of January of 2019.

Instead, write out m/d/2020 to be safe.

I know it is not a big deal, but it could lead to some potential issues. Just consider this as a small PSA.


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