How does a legal electronic signature differ from a digital signature?
There are few aspects of life that haven’t been touched by digital technology. From business to banking, from shopping to signing contracts; almost everything is done electronically these days. But what do we mean when we talk about an electronic signature? How does it differ from a digital signature? In this blog post, we will explore the differences between a legal electronic signature and a digital signature, and how they are being used in business today. We will also look at which one is more secure and how you can use them in your own business operations.
What is a digital signature?
A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of digital messages or documents. A valid digital signature, where the prerequisites are satisfied, gives a recipient very strong reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender (authentication), and that the message was not altered in transit (integrity).
What is a legal electronic signature?
A legal electronic signature, also known as an e-signature, is a digital representation of a person’s handwritten signature. E-signatures are typically used to sign documents electronically, in lieu of a paper document.
While digital signatures use cryptographic methods to verify the identity of the signer and the integrity of the document, electronic signatures rely on the agreement of the parties involved to consider the signature valid. In other words, if both parties agree that an electronic signature has the same weight as a handwritten signature, then it is legally binding.
There are several benefits to using electronic signatures over traditional paper signatures. For one, they’re more convenient – documents can be signed electronically from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. They’re also more secure, as it’s much harder to forge an electronic signature than a handwritten one. And finally, they’re more environmentally friendly, as there’s no need to print out paper documents.
The difference between digital and legal electronic signatures
Digital signatures and legal electronic signatures both refer to the process of using electronic means to sign a document. However, there are some important differences between the two.
Digital signatures are typically used for personal or business documents that do not need to be notarized or filed with a government agency. They offer a simple way to sign documents electronically, without having to print them out and sign them by hand.
Legal electronic signatures, on the other hand, are used for documents that must be notarized or filed with a government agency. In order to create a legal electronic signature, you must first create an account with a certified provider like DocuSign. Once you have an account, you can use DocuSign’s tools to add your electronic signature to a document.
The benefits of using a legal electronic signature
There are many benefits to using a legal electronic signature. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can save you time and money. Traditional signatures require physical contact between the signer and the document, which can be costly and time-consuming, especially if the signer is located in a different country.
Another significant benefit is that electronic signatures are more secure than traditional signatures. They are much more difficult to forge, and they provide a higher level of security for both the signer and the recipient. Additionally, electronic signatures can be used to track when a document was signed and by whom, which can be helpful in the event of a dispute.
Overall, electronic signatures offer a convenient, secure, and efficient way to sign documents. They are particularly well-suited for use in international transactions, where they can save time and money while ensuring the highest level of security.
When to use a digital signature vs. a legal electronic signature
There are a few key differences between digital signatures and legal electronic signatures. Perhaps the most important difference is that digital signatures are typically used to sign electronic documents, while legal electronic signatures can be used to sign any type of document.
Another key difference is that digital signatures are usually generated using special software, while legal electronic signatures can be created using a variety of methods, including handwritten signature pads, mobile apps, and even biometric devices.
Finally, digital signatures are typically encrypted, while legal electronic signatures are not. This means that digital signatures are more secure and can be verified more easily, but it also means that they may not be accepted in some situations where a legal electronic signature would be perfectly valid.
In conclusion, a legal electronic signature and digital signature offer different levels of security when it comes to contracts and other documents. Digital signatures provide the highest level of security by using encryption technology but can be more expensive. Legal electronic signatures, on the other hand, are cheaper but may not offer as much protection from fraud or tampering. It’s important to consider your needs when deciding which type of signature is best for you.