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All about Electronic Signatures

Not everyone is actually aware of what electronic signature is about and on how different types of e-signature differs from each when it comes to evidential and legality power. At basic level, any mark on electronic document could be used in capturing the intent of the signer to either accept or approve the content of that particular document. It is not important on how the sign is created or the form of mark. Instead, the most significant part needed to be done is proving who made the mark and ensuring that the document is not tampered.

As you read this article, you are going to learn about the types of electronic signatures used in today’s time.

Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – normally, these include of scanned images, typed names, e-squiggles as well as tick boxes. When you make use of this category of signature, there is no cryptographic protection for the document. With this in mind, such signatures aren’t enough in providing strong evidence of who have signed or even to protect the doc from subsequent change. It could be that they are easily cut and pasted from one doc to the other.

Number 2. Basic electronic signature – in this type of e-signature, it needs the signer to apply their hand signature mark on document and then, it would be protected with cryptographic digital signature. With basic e-signatures, it is creating crypto digital signature using the server held signing key such as belonging to a service provider organization. Because of this, this was also called as “Witness” digital signature.

Number 3. Qualified and advanced e-signatures – AES and QES or Advanced Electronic Signature and Qualified Electronic Signature respectively do provide high level of assurance as well as trust since these are truly one of a kind signing keys for every signer. This directly links to the user’s identity to signed document such that anyone will be able to verify it on their own by using industry standard PDF reader. You have to be mindful as well that these are also known as digital signatures than e-signatures.

Apart from that, only the signer will have sole control of their private signing key and for this reason, it ensures that there’s non-repudiation even if the service provider can’t be in charge of creation of signature. Remote signing has tons of benefits including the ability of signing from any machine without using specialist devices similar to hardware tokens, readers and smartcards.

QES are actually the more trusted version of AES as it requires higher level of security to protect the signing key of the user and at the same time, a formal registration process in verifying their identity via qualified Certificate Authority.

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