What are Electronic Signatures?
Anyone who is new to this area could feel confused easily on what electronic signature is all about and to how different kinds of e-signature differs in relation to legality and evidential 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. What matters a lot is being able to prove who have made the mark and that the document was not altered or modified.
As you read this article, you are going to learn about the types of electronic signatures used in today’s time.
Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – normally, these include of scanned images, typed names, e-squiggles as well as tick boxes. There’s no cryptographic protection for the document when you make use of this signature category. With this in mind, such signatures aren’t enough in providing strong evidence of who have signed or even to protect the doc from subsequent change. It may be that they’re cut and pasted from a different document.
Number 2. Basic electronic signature – these will require the signer apply their hand signature mark on document and then, it will be protected using 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 – if you are looking for something that delivers the highest level of assurance and trust for signing keys on every signer, then you should look for AES and QES or Advanced Electronic Signature and Qualified Electronic Signature respectively. This is linking directly to the user’s identity to signed document in a way that anyone will be able to verify it on their own by making use of industry standard PDF reader. Take note as well that these are also called as digital signatures than e-signatures.
Apart from that, only the signer will have sole control of their private signing key and for this reason, it ensures that there’s non-repudiation even if the service provider can’t be in charge of creation of signature. Remote signing has tons of benefits including the ability of signing from any machine without using specialist devices similar to hardware tokens, readers and smartcards.
QES are actually the more trusted version of AES as it requires higher level of security to protect the signing key of the user and at the same time, a formal registration process in verifying their identity via qualified Certificate Authority.