The Essentials of Documents – Getting to Point A

What are 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, mark on electronic document can actually be used to capture the objective of the signer to accept or approve the content of that particular document. It is not important on how the sign is created or the form of mark. Rather, the most important part is to prove who have made the mark and that the document wasn’t changed.

Here in this article, we will be focusing on the different types of electronic signatures that are used in today’s time.

Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – in most cases, this consists 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 being said, these signatures are not enough to provide strong evidence of who have really signed or protect the doc from further changes. It may be that they’re cut and pasted from a different document.

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 are providing the highest level of assurance and trust because these are one of a kind signing keys for each and every signer. This links directly to the identity of the user to signed document such that anyone could verify it on their own using industry standard PDF reader. Take note that these are otherwise referred to as digital signatures than e-signatures.

Not just that, the signer has the only control of their private signing key which guarantees non-repudiation even if the service provider is not responsible for the creation of signature. Remote signing has plenty of benefits which include the ability of signing from any machine without using specialist devices similar to hardware tokens, readers and smartcards.

Actually, QES are more of a trusted version of AES since it requires higher level of security in protecting the signing key of user and formal registration process at the same time to verify their identity through qualified Certificate Authority.

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