Types of Electronic Signatures

With the growth of real-time interactive communications, many businesses are increasingly using electronic signatures as a formal method of document authorization. Electronic signatures are handier than traditional ones since they allow you to authorize agreements while you are not in the same location as the other places.

If you’re still not convinced that utilizing electronic signatures continue reading the article. In this post, we’ll go over the various types of electronic signatures.

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature, or e-signature, is a digital representation of a person’s handwritten signature. Electronic signatures are used to sign contracts, agreements, and other documents electronically.  Electronic signatures are created using special software that captures your signature and converts it into a digital format. They are considered just as legally binding as traditional handwritten signatures.

With the rise in popularity of remote work and virtual trasactions, more individuals are turning to electronic signatures for identity verification, proposals or contract signing. This implies that attaching your electronic to a document has the same significance as physically signing the document.

 

What is the difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature?

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that uses cryptography to ensure the authenticity of the sender and to protect the contents of the message. An electronic signature is any type of signature that is attached to an electronic document.

The purpose of an electronic signature is to identify the signer and to attest to the fact that the signature was placed intentionally. An electronic signature can be either a typed name or an electronic image of a handwritten signature.

A digital signature, on the other hand, uses cryptography to create a unique, unforgeable message digest that is attached to a document. A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that uses cryptography to ensure the authenticity and integrity of a message or document.

A digital signature is created when a user’s private key and the document’s hash value are combined to create a unique signature. This signature can be verified by recalculating the hash value of the document with the user’s public key and comparing it to the original hash value.

Types of electronic signatures

There are three different types of electronic signatures:

  1. Simple electronic signature
  2. Advanced electronic signature
  3. Qualified electronic signature

Let’s learn about each type.

Simple electronic signature (SES)

 

Simple electronic signatures are the simplest type of electronic signature. They are defined as “data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.” In some cases, simple electronic signatures are considered legally binding. However, for certain documents, higher qualifications must be met.

This is the most common type of electronic signature. It involves adding a picture or a scanned signature to a document. For example, suppose you get a document that requires your signature, you easily navigate through your photographs and select a picture of your signature and insert it into your document, and you are done.

Advanced electronic signature (AES)

 

Advanced electronic signature, or AES, is a type of electronic signature that is more secure than a basic electronic signature. An AES uses a more sophisticated method to verify the identity of the signer and to ensure that the document has not been tampered with. This makes it a more reliable way to sign documents electronically.

Characteristics of advanced electronic signature:

  • It has the ability to identify the signatory
  • It is solely within the authority of the signatory
  • It is connected to the signed data in such a way that any modifications make the signature invalid.

Qualified electronic signature (QES)

 

Qualified electronic signatures are advanced electronic signatures that meet additional requirements. Qualified electronic signatures must have a certificate based on public keys that were issued on a cryptographic card with a double factor of authentication. This authentication can be completed face-to-face via video call or in person.

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