Although the phrases “digital signature” and “electronic signature” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not identical. The distinction between electronic and digital signatures is frequently misunderstood. Electronic signatures, on the other hand, contain all types of signatures, whereas digital signatures are tied to an actual signature.
If your company needs signatures to do business, it’s critical to know the difference between electronic and digital signatures. The technology and processes you need to implement are impacted by the sorts of signatures your company wants to gather.
An electronic signature indicates that the contents of a document or form have been accepted or approved. A mark, which can be collected by a checkbox, written name, electronically signed name, or uploaded signature image, is all that is required for an electronic signature. Electronic signatures show that the signer intends to sign the document.
Electronic signatures may help your company in a variety of ways. When compared to pen and paper, they make obtaining signatures easier, quicker, and more efficient. You may save time and money by not having to print, sign, scan, or send your papers and forms.
Electronic signatures are exactly that: an electronic version of a pen and paper signature. As a result, there is no authentication method in place to verify the signee or document. The use of a digital certificate to encrypt the final signed document is what distinguishes digital signatures from electronic signatures. Evidence of the signer’s identity can be provided in the form of a unique link given through email, SMS, a shared password between the sender and a signer, or another way.
Digital documents such as PDF or Word can easily be electronically signed by using software such as Adobe Acrobat and the best thing about these documents is that they can easily be interconverted i.e PDF to Word is possible and so is the reverse, Word to PDF in almost no time.
A digital signature is a sort of electronic signature that employs an encrypted digital certificate to make a document tamper-evident, which can be validated using its public key, which is generated when the document is signed. An audit trail is created as a result of the procedure, which gives information on each step taken to sign the document. In jurisdictions outside the United States, digital signatures are referred to as advanced electronic signatures, qualified electronic signatures, or other terms.
A digital signature is an electronic signature that is recorded using specific encryption and captured using eSignature software. For each document transmitted for signing, this cryptographic technique produces a digital “fingerprint”. This increases security by assuring that the document cannot be changed. It also checks a document’s signees, safeguarding your company from fraud.
Process: Using “Personal Key Infrastructure” digital signatures employ a specialized encryption mechanism to safeguard and validate the document. Each party signing a document is identified, verified, and authenticated using PKIs. Consider this method to be a digital notary for your document signature. It allows you to track and preserve your papers in a secure manner.
Digital signatures provide a more secure process for gathering electronic signatures. Digital signatures, which use top-level encryption to verify the document and signees, add an extra degree of security to an electronic signature. Those in highly regulated businesses, such as insurance, real estate, and financial services, should use digital signatures.
Which One Should You Use; A Digital Signature Or An Electronic Signature?
A digital signature is used to protect a document, whereas an electronic signature is used to verify it. A digital signature has additional security measures than a traditional signature, making it more secure. Because electronic signatures have fewer security safeguards, they are less secure to use. The government or a non-government certification provider body can also authorize a digital signature. Specific suppliers, document creators, or involved parties can authorize electronic signatures.
In addition, a digital signature often stores audit logs and makes it simple to trace when or whether modifications to a document are made. Using audit logs with an electronic signature is problematic. Digital signatures are more trustworthy since they are more secure and resistant to alteration. Electronic signatures are less trustworthy since they are less secure and can be tampered with.