4 Things You Need To Know About Digital Signatures

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Digital signatures are gaining popularity each day. They’re secure and ideal for authenticating documents. For this reason, most businesses are shifting from ink to digital signatures.

But do you know how digital signatures work? Are they similar to electronic signatures? Are they all good, or do they have a dark side? Suppose you’d want to understand the answer to these questions. In that case, you might need to continue reading, for the insights below will provide you with information about digital signatures. You might also want to check out information to learn how to sign a Google Doc and more in this feature. 

1. How Do Digital Signatures Work

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Digital signatures serve similar purposes as typical handwritten ones. The only difference is that digital signatures are signed online on soft copies. Unlike what most individuals think, digital signing is a seamless procedure. Usually, individuals send documents by email, directing you to the signing platform. Once you receive the email, all you need is to press sign and consent. Nevertheless, as simple as it sounds, the process isn’t that simple behind the curtains.

Digital signatures are powered by asymmetric cryptography. This is a type of public key cryptography algorithm. During document signing, the process generates two encrypted keys: one public and one private. Depending on the document, numerical numbers or hash value generation also function as a digital fingerprint. The cryptography keys conceal and decode the numerical number or hash value to authenticate documents.

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After signing the documents, the public key permits the recipient gadget to easily translate the hash value to compare the document’s content. The individual who signed the documents keeps the private key as the signature verifying key. Once any document content is changed, the digital signature becomes invalid.

2. Are Electronic Signatures The Same As Digital Signatures

Most people use the term electronic signatures when referring to digital ones. Though they serve similar purposes, their security level differs.

Electronic signatures refer to any electronic sound, symbol, or procedure incorporated into a soft file intending to sign it. Mainly electronic signatures are numbers, images, or a tick within a box. On the other hand, digital signatures are a very elaborate and secure method of validating signers. They also track signed documents to verify their integrity. 

Things about Digital Signatures
Things about Digital Signatures | Image Credit: Adobe Stocks

While electronic signatures are also legally binding, their digital counterparts have more legal requirements. Electronic signatures are commonly used for consent, while digital ones are used to verify sensitive documents in vital fields like medical or legal industries.

3. Advantages Of Using Digital Signatures

Digital signatures come with the following benefits:

  • They Speed Up The Process: Unlike when using time-consuming ink signatures to verify essential documents, digital signatures offer a seamless process since you only have to click a button. This way, you can sign multiple documents instantly compared to handwritten signatures.
  • They Offer Peace Of Mind: Signatures are prone to forgery, and anyone keen enough can forge any ink signature. For this reason, one must use a type of signature that can’t be forged and provides unbeatable protection for sensitive information. Luckily, a digital signature does precisely that.
  • They Improve Customer Experience: Organizations offering digital signature tools to their customers improve their customers’ experience. Due to their ease to use, flexibility, and convenience, digital signatures are more satisfying to customers, resulting in an outstanding brand reputation.
  • They Promote Accuracy: With the automation and authentication of the documents, there’s no room for error. This results in accuracy, which can save a business time and money.
  1. Disadvantages Of Using Digital Signatures

Digital signatures come with a fair share of disadvantages. They include:

  • Technology Barrier: Not everyone can access electronic devices. Plus, not everybody knows how to use computers and smartphones. In such cases, some people might not be able to sign documents digitally, especially if they aren’t assisted.
  • Electronic Malfunction: Digital signatures require power and a device in working condition. Suppose there’s a power outage or hardware damage. In that case, you might not be able to sign any document.
  • Not All Are Secure: Every digital signature vendor offers a different level of security. Meaning that some digital signatures don’t offer the required security. That said, it’s important to research the level of security offered by different software and vendors before settling for one.

Conclusion

As the world continues to be digitized by the day, businesses must incorporate technologies that can enhance efficiency while saving money and time, such as digital signatures. Nevertheless, before implementing this technology, it’s vital to determine if all your clients are eligible to use them to avoid technology barriers. You can implement measures to ensure customers who have challenges in using digital signatures are assisted in improving your customer relationships as well.

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