Here in Seattle we follow Daylight Savings Time so today is the day to “fall back” by resetting the clocks 1 hour back. Because here have been so many “irregularities” in IT world regarding the calculation of Daylight Savings Time, it is also a great idea to quick-check your various servers and systems to verify they have the time “right”. The biggest cost of incorrect server time is not the absolute time issue (we often don’t care when a clock is off) bt the potential to make bigger mistakes by assuming time stamps are correct. Better to spend a few minutes making sure things are copacetic now, than get caught in a “gotcha” later because someone’s time stamp was actually off.
It is also a god time to re-evaluate your choice of SSL Certificates, for a few reasons. First, we humans tend to forget that SSL certificates expire, so we let them go until we get warnings that the SSL cert has expired. There’s no real god reason to work that way, if this simple reminder can get you to check your expiration date and execute any needed renewals now. We reset our clocks twice a year, so why not check your SSL certificate expiration dates twice a year? This is a particularly good time to do it, in advance of the shopping season. I am sure many of you will remember stories of merchants dealing with expired SSL certs last year during holiday crunch time. For homework, figure out when those annual renewals expire again this year ;-)
Another issue to consider is the compatibility of your particular SSL cert. I run several versions of most popular browsers routinely, and I am seeing more and more “invalid certificate” warnings these days, even from certificates bought through respectable vendors. Some advise that the difference in costs between the various SSL cert deals is purely a reflection of the dollar transaction insurance provided by the certificate vendor. A cert with $250,000 insurance does cost more than a cert with $100,000 insurance. But, there is also a cost associated with broad browser compatibility. Not all SSL certificate vendors provide certs that verify all browsers, and It seems certificate vendors may now be cutting corners by dropping support for older browsers.. I won’t name names here but you should check your certificate’s compatibility. If a user gets an invalid certificate message ater clicking “checkout now” you are likely to lose consumer confidence at best, if not a sale every time.
So Happy Daylight Savings Sunday: be sure to check your clocks and check your SSL certs.