Maybe if someone talked about digital technology 3 decades back, they’d be considered no less than an imbecile or delusional!
Though, those decades have passed on and the current era is all about digital technology that has everything under its control, to be precise.
We need a cup of coffee, we get it made in a jiffy thanks to the electronic coffee maker; we need a document typed and printed, instead of using a typewriter, we have computers that can also help in sending it forward to the concerned person. Wait, not just this, if you need a document signed, you can even get it done electronically!
A skeptical mind would always want assurance, if these digital signatures, as they put it, is really secure? In other words, can technology be trusted for something that’s as essential as a business contract and you need digital signature on it?
Just to understand the phenomenon of digital signatures, let’s try to understand its basics in as simplified manner as possible. Seeing that you have an urgent time sensitive document that needs to be signed asap. Now, instead of faxing the document, you could simply upload it on a digital signature application, add in their credentials, mark the signing space for them and send them an email notification for completing the task. Isn’t it much easier and quicker on the go, rather than making a fax document, sending it across, intimating them about its delivery and asking them for a sign and waiting endlessly for the signed document to come back to you? It, in fact, is and a 100 times quicker and cheaper!
The painful experience sounds familiar to you? Is yes, then that’s probably because your business requires many signatures on a lot of different documents every day and then managing the signs, taking care of the human errors, maintaining the cost expenditure, getting the work done in a jiffy then, digital signatures is for you.
What is a Digital Signature and How is it more secure than the regular handwritten signature?
A digital signature is just like your regular traditional signature, but more secure than its paper and ink counterpart. What does it ‘signify’ when we say secure? Well, by secure, it means that the issues that are common in ink-and paper based signs, such as forgery, data mishandling, etc., no longer stand a chance of having any of this happening.
By secure, we mean a signature obtained and transmitted over electronically and that too in a more ‘sealed’ environment.
By digitally signing a message, you are actually applying your unique digital mark onto the message. The digital signature includes your certificate or document and the public key. With this information, the recipient stays assured that you are the actual signer behind the document and have approved the contents within the messages – you and no imposter. Moreover, the contents, in any way, cannot be modified in transit without the permission of the document owner. But, this is the best part, for additional privacy, you can also encrypt your document to add a more advanced level security to it.
Digitally signing a message does not include a signature within your outgoing messages such as that in an email. Is an e-mail signature secure? No it isn’t. Anyone can copy it and use it for themselves, plus it is more of a customizable closing salutation. Whereas a digitally signed document is a locked document that only authorized personnel can access. This provides verification of the sender’s authenticity, thereby helping message tampering from occurring.
Author Bio: Anna Stacy has in-depth knowledge and experience of digital signatures solutions. Her basic forte lies within process optimization and process re-engineering, and has a long-term obsession with electronic signature. She is a leading source of what’s hot and what’s not in the online digital signature space.