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What are Electronic Signatures?

Anyone who is not accustomed to this may feel confused on what electronic signature is about and to how the different types of e-signature is different in regards 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. The form of mark or on how it is created is not really important. What matters a lot is being able to prove who have made the mark and that the document was not altered or modified.

You will be able to learn more about the different kinds of electronic signatures used in this modern day by reading this article.

Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – in most cases, this consists 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 could be that they are easily cut and pasted from one doc to the other.

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. It is for the same reason why this is also called as “Witness” digital signature.

Number 3. Qualified and advanced e-signatures – AES and QES or Advanced Electronic Signature and Qualified Electronic Signature respectively are providing the highest level of assurance and trust because these are one of a kind signing keys for each and every signer. This links directly to the identity of the user to signed document such that anyone could verify it on their own using industry standard PDF reader. Take note as well that these are also called as digital signatures than e-signatures.

Not just that, the signer has the only control of their private signing key which guarantees non-repudiation even if the service provider is not responsible for the creation of signature. There are numerous benefits that can be acquired from remote signing such as the ability of signing from any machine without using specialist devices similar to hardware tokens, readers and smartcards.

In reality, QES are deemed as the more trusted version of AES for this demands higher level of security to protect the signing key of user and also, formal registration procedure to verify their identity via qualified Certificate Authority.

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