The use of electronic signatures in transactions, contracts and business in general; saves time, cost and increases efficiency. However, speed doesn’t mean your security is lost in the process.
Just like a physical or ‘Wet’ signature, an e-signature is a mark that declares your agreement with the document it’s associated with. As the word ‘mark’ suggests, it can be almost anything and doesn’t need to look like your name or your ‘Wet’ signature at all. The use of secure electronic signature saves the cost of getting all the signatures you require, in half the time, but speed doesn’t mean your security is lost in the process.
Because as former UK Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, once said, “The knock-on effect of a data breach can be devastating for a company. When customers start taking their business—and their money—elsewhere, that can be a real body blow.”
However, the risks of fraud are considerably lessened by using e-Signatures, as with services like Sign.ly, your information is heavily encrypted and contains a full log of the activity related to a document. So if someone’s changed something on the document you’ll see it.
So, how can electronic signature software help create electronic signature securely?
How do I create electronic signature?
You can create electronic signature in a few different ways. Each signature takes only a few clicks or swipes. Here are your options:
- Draw your signature using your finger or a stylus. If you have access to a touchscreen, you can use your finger to create an electronic signature directly in your document. This is particularly helpful for when you’re signing on a mobile device or tablet!
- Upload an image of your signature. Use your phone or camera to take a picture of your paper signature. Once it’s uploaded, it will be turned into a .png file that overlays neatly over the signature line in your document.
- Use your cursor to draw your signature. Using your mouse or your touchpad, you can drag your cursor along the signature line to create a unique electronic signature.
- Use your keyboard to type in your signature. This is the easiest way to create your electronic signature. Once you’ve typed in your name, you can select a font that best matches your paper signature.
Is it secure to use electronic signatures to sign documents?
Yes, it is absolutely secure as long as you use verified and secure software or providers to create electronic signature.
How to Create Electronic Signature Securely
Using an electronic signature service provider, you should be able to create electronic signature securely through the following means:
most services will send unique links in emails to the signers. You will be required to click a link through which you will access the document. The link is only accessible to the person who has access to the email address it’s sent to.
‘SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)’ is the standard security technology for encrypted links. One of the most important components of online business is creating a trusted environment where potential customers feel confident in making purchases. SSL certificates create a foundation of trust by establishing a secure connection. This link makes sure that all data passed between the web server and browsers will always be secure and private. SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Normally, data sent between browsers and web servers is sent in plain text—leaving you vulnerable to eavesdropping. If an attacker is able to intercept all data being sent between a browser and a web server, they can see and use that information.
An audit trail is a step-by-step record by which accounting or trade data can be traced to its source. Audit trails are used to verify and track many types of transactions including accounting transactions and trades in brokerage accounts. An audit trail is most often utilized when the accuracy of an item needs to be verified. Audit trails can be useful tools when determining the validity of an accounting entry, source of funds or trade.
Any software you use must be capable of doing this. All activity starting from when you upload the document for signing is logged in a full audit trail that’s attached to the envelope in your account.
As a sender you’ll have the option to password protect your documents, which adds another layer of security to your signing process. Password protection allows only those with an authorized password to gain access to certain information. Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your personal information.
Cloud based storage:
"The cloud" refers to servers that are accessed over the Internet, and the software and databases that run on those servers. When a document has been signed and completed, it’s stored securely in the Cloud where only users YOU give permission are able to access it. Another reason why cloud storage is safe is that the files stored on cloud servers are encrypted. This means that they are scrambled, which makes it far harder for cybercriminals to access.
Direct link to the e-signature
Your email address and IP address will be linked to the secure electronic signature and it will be possible to validate this.
No change of content of the signed document:
If anyone attempts to alter the document’s content after signing, a notification will be sent to all parties.
E-Signature Software enhance the overall collaboration and productivity within a company and are becoming popular between legal departments for contract processing with clients and outside counsel because they provide an easy way to create electronic signature securely. In many legal cases documents that’ve been signed with e-signatures have provided the evidence needed to win the case. This is where a physical signature would be less secure and harder to validate, meaning it’s usability in legal cases has become obsolete. Electronic signatures are recognized around the world as a legal substitute for handwritten.
Though the legality of electronic signatures may vary slightly based on the governing authorities, electronic signatures are legal when captured correctly.
In many (not all) cases, electronic signatures are considered the equivalent of a handwritten signature. This is especially true when audit trails can trace the signing process back to the intended recipient.
These audit trails and security checkpoints, as well as the ability to lock a document after a signature solution is applied, creates the assurance that the validity of the document can’t be denied.
E-signed documents need to comply with industry regulations, laws, standards, and policies. If an e-signed document does not comply with industry requirements, it may have legal consequences, and the company will be held responsible for activating it.
Merits of Using E-Signature Software to Create Electronic Signature
When you create electronic signature it yields certain benefits, here are a few:
Not only do you save money on paper, but you also save on postage, mailing, and supplies, which can cost a large amount of money over time. The use of top electronic signature solutions to create electronic signature is by far the most affordable option when it comes to documenting intent.
By reducing the amount of paper you use, you can help stop contributing to the massive amounts of waste produced by the paper industry. Around 400 million tons of paper and cardboard is produced by the world every year and is one of the leading factors in the destruction of the natural world. Thus, when you create electronic signature you are actually being environmentally friendly.
Easier version control
E-signatures leave nothing to chance as they automatically update and store the information of whatever document you use in an easily accessible digital storage space. Using top electronic signature solutions will make sure that you can create electronic signatures you need, when you need them.
Better user experience
Customers are increasingly expecting digital services from businesses they interact with, regardless of where they are in the world, and this extends to document signing. No one wants to spend time printing, signing, and posting paper documents when they have the option of signing electronically at their own convenience. A top electronic signature solution helps ensure this through ease of use when you create electronic signature. It eliminates the hassle involved with remote signatures and having to rely on mountains of documents where important information can easily be lost.
Not only will this improve the relationship with existing customers, it will also help businesses stay ahead of competitors and attract new ones, leading to increased revenue and a healthier bottom line.
E-signatures provide a more secure method of gathering signatures than paper documents and written signatures. For one thing, paper documents are easier to get lost and can fall into the wrong hands, as you can’t track paper documents as easily as those hosted online. Additionally, some top electronic signature solutions provide audit trails, showing not only who signed the document but also when and where through the use of timestamps and GPS coordinates.
Once signed, the documents can be protected with digital encryption technology to prevent tampering, and integrated workflow rules can streamline business processes by advancing the document to the next step or automatically archiving it to a content management system. When combined with digital identity verification and biometric technologies, top electronic signature solutions create electronic signatures that can even reduce incidents of fraud by ensuring that the person signing the document is in fact who they say they are.
It goes without saying, but technology is just so much more efficient than a single human could ever hope to be.
Safe and Secure…
So, there’s really nothing stopping you from using software to create electronic signature securely. With all the right legal and security measures in place your information will be safe. Although to some more traditional companies, online signing may seem less trustworthy if you’re not familiar with the process. But, think, do you want your information falling into the wrong hands? With e-signatures you’re able to control who can view your information, and more importantly stop anyone altering your information for their own gains.
With the right safety precautions in place, your information is safer than using traditional signatures. So sit back and enjoy the convenience of fast transactions and completed contracts from the safety of your desk chair, or living room sofa.