Creating Secure Signatures for Documents
When it comes to digital signatures, secure signing is the most critical element. As individuals and organizations sign agreements, contracts, and documents online, electronic signatures are coming in handy not just to automate workflows efficiently but also to provide an added layer of trust, integrity, and privacy to digitally signed documents.
What is Secure Signing?
Secure signing involves electronic signatures with unique digital markers identifying and validating the signatory. These signatures encrypt and attach to electronic documents to ensure their integrity and provide a reliable verification method.
Individuals and organizations can ensure the validity of signed documents and protect against tampering or unauthorized alterations.
How to Create a Secure Electronic Signature?
If you are a sender as well as a signer who wishes to send documents for eSignatures (consider an example of an organization sending an employment offer to a candidate), here are a series of steps you can follow.
- Choose a reliable eSignature platform: The first step is choosing a reliable eSignature platform. There are several solutions available, each offering various features and levels of security. Go for the one that offers a mix of feature-richness, automation, compliance, and scalability at an affordable range.
- Register for an account: Sign up with your chosen eSignature platform.
- Upload the document: Once registered, upload the document you wish to sign. Some platforms offer a guided experience of the complete process.
- Create your electronic signature: Depending on the platform, you can draw your signature using a touchpad or stylus, or choose from a selection of pre-designed signatures. You can also upload a scanned image of your wet signature. Ensure that your signature is unique and represents your identity accurately.
- Apply the signature: Once your signature is ready, add it to the document. A reliable and reputed eSignature platform will enable the encrypted signatures to be attached securely, ensuring they are integral and tamper-proof in nature.
- Save and distribute the signed file: Now, save the signed document and send it for electronic signing to other recipients. Some eSignature platforms offer additional features to help you offer a more personalized and faster experience, such as timely reminders for the signers, order of signing in case of multiple signers, delivery receipt, and tracking.
Why is an eSignature More Secure Than a Wet Signature?
eSignatures offer several advantages over traditional wet signatures in terms of security:
- Tamper-proof: eSignatures are securely encrypted and attached to the document, making them difficult to forge or tamper with.
- Authentication: Multi-factor validation or digital certificates verify the signatory's identity.
- Audit trail: Some robust eSignature tools maintain a detailed audit trail that records the signing process, including timestamps, IP addresses, and actions taken. It provides a comprehensive record for legal and security purposes.
- Data encryption: eSignatures are encrypted to protect the integrity of the signed documents.
Q1: Are electronic signatures legally binding?
Electronic signatures are legally binding in many jurisdictions, provided requirements are met, such as consent, intent, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Q2: Can electronic signatures be used for all types of documents?
Yes, including contracts, agreements, consent forms, and other legal documents. However, certain documents may have specific requirements, so it's necessary to understand the applicable regulations.
Q3: How can I ensure the security of my electronic signatures?
To ensure the security of electronic signatures, choose a reputable eSignature solution, implement verification measures, encrypt documents, and follow best practices for secure document transmission.
Q4: Are digital signatures more secure than electronic signatures?
Technically, digital signatures have more security than electronic ones. Digital signatures go beyond encryption and signing - digital seals, PKI certificates, proof of authentication, and strong transmission security.