What is Digital Signature and How It Works?

How to Create a Digital Signature

In today’s world, the use of digital signatures is increasing in popularity. The most developed and effective application for its use is when individuals or legal entities file taxes with the IRS. People are now even applying it when working with their bank accounts and buying and selling on the stock market. However, this widespread popularity of e-signatures did not happen overnight. This has been a long process that began on June 30, 2000, when Congress passed a federal law called The Electronic Signatures in the Global and National Commerce Act, or more commonly known as the eSign act. At present, anybody can put a digital signature using online technology like SignNow. All what’s needed is to create your account, verify your identity and use it to complete and sign documents. It’s even easier when somebody sent you a file for signature; in this case, you just open it and follow the instructions.

Required Standards

Digital signature functions have to comply with certain standards for proper signing operation. In order to create consistent, legal and secure signature, services need three key points, which are: 1) solution that provides a platform to carry out the signing procedure and manage the documents; 2) technology, which is responsible for authentication, mobile applications and hardware security modules; 3) service providers that certify and validate the signature and act as a registration authorities.

Security Blanket

The process of forming a digital signature online is relatively simple. However, this technology includes a set of security measures that ensure confidentiality of user’s information. Here are the reasons why it’s safe to use digital signature:

  • Private cloud storage eliminates risk of losing your data;
  • Unique ID for every documents makes tampering impossible;
  • Double factor authentication protects documents on your iOS;
  • Audit Trail keeps detailed records on every action made to a file.

  • Digital Certificate and Certificate Authorities

    Like a driving license or passport binds a photograph to the personal information about its holder, a Digital Certificate works in a similar way. It is a file used to cryptographically connect the public key to specific attributes of its identity. The key owner may be a person, organization, web entity or software application. Certification Authorities fulfill the role of the trusted third party by accepting certificate applications from people, platforms, web entities, and authenticating applications by issuing certificates and maintaining the information of the certificates issued. The incorporation of a certification authority ensures that cyber criminals cannot go on the internet and pretend they are people they are not and issue fake digital signature certificates for illegitimate use.

    Public Key Infrastructure

    The technology of the SignNow application presupposes a network of subscribers sending each other signed electronic documents. For each subscriber, a pair of keys is generated: secret and public. The secret key is kept by the subscriber in secret and is used for the formation of EDS. The public version is known to all other users and is intended for the verification of a digital signature by the recipient of a processed virtual file.The EDS system includes two main procedures:

  • The formation of a signature;
  • Its verification.

  • Legally Enforceable Technologies

    The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act(UETA) allows the use of electronic records and digital signatures in any transaction, except transactions that are subject to the Uniform Commercial Code. The fundamental purpose of this act is to remove perceived barriers to online commerce. The UETA is a procedural statute. It does not mandate either electronic signatures or records. It simply provides a means to effectuate transactions when they are used. The primary objective here, is to establish the legal equivalence of records and signatures that already exist with manually-verified ones on paper. There are several reasons why it is important for every state to adopt the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act:

  • UETA defines and validates digital signing. It is defined as "an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record."
  • UETA insures that courts can accept electronic records and signs into evidence.
  • UETA protects against errors by providing appropriate standards for the use of technology to ensure correct party identification.
  • UETA avoids having the selection of medium (“wet ink” vs. online) govern the outcome of any disputes or disagreements, and it assures that parties have the freedom to select the media of their choosing for their transactions.

  • Beneficial Features of a SignNow Digital Signature

    Unlike a handwritten competitor, SignNow’s software allows users to send a signed document through communication channels without transferring the document's physical medium and at the same time, retain the ability to verify the authenticity of the document. For example, SignNow’s verification tools can establish the authenticity of an e-document regardless of the source from which the information required for verification is loaded. Another important advantage of e-signatures is the complexity of its counterfeiting, due to the fact that the digital example is related to the content of the document logically, and not through a common material carrier.

    Easy and Fast Signing

    When making a digital signature it becomes obvious that this system is very useful in situations where it is not possible to use a handwritten verifier to confirm the authenticity of documents. Or it will take way too much time, and time is money. With SignNow, this problem is solved due to editing and signing technology, which can be applied from any device, whether you are working from office, home or on the go. Even if your Internet failed at a certain moment, you still can perform all action in the editor and put your digital signature. Once the connection is renewed, all changes will be updated and considered to be valid.

    List of Available File Formats

    Creating legally binding e-Signatures is now easier than ever. This is because with SignNow, you can add it to any file on a mobile device or personal computer. The document can be uploaded from a desktop, email, dropbox, camera and even from notes on your phone. It can be a Word file, a PDF, a PNG and even JPG - they can all be signed and sent out for signing. Upon completion, they will be automatically converted into PDF.

    Compatible Devices

    SignNow makes it easy to manage documents and get someone’s signature on a document anytime, anywhere. Forget about printing, scanning, or faxing and download the app to you iPhone, Android or tablet. To create a digital signature online you simply do the following:

  • Upload a file in Word, PDF or rich text document from your Email.
  • Sign with your finger, stylus pen or by typing with a keyboard.
  • Email the ready contract to anyone, or save the document to a SignNow account.

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