How Does an Electronic Signature from SignNow Work?

The question “how to make an electronic signature” has a simple answer. Just like an ordinary one, made with a ballpoint pen, it identifies the person who certified the document. But unlike a wet-ink autograph, a digital version is very difficult to forge as it contains encrypted information that’s unique to the client. The recipients can easily determine whether the file was changed after it was signed.

What Is an Electronic Signature?

Basically, an electronic signature is a mark put onto a document by a person. This is not done physically, but virtually, to prove that he or she agrees with the content and terms of the particular paper. In SignNow, the mark can be created in several ways: by writing it manually on the screen of your smartphone or tablet; by writing it with a touchpad or mouse; by typing your name and then choosing a generated autograph; and by taking a picture of your physical signature. Then, it is bound to the document with encryption technology that proves its authenticity.

Evolution Process

The history had already witnessed the first examples of e-signing back in the 19th century. Government officials and businesses applied Morse code to execute contracts sent by telegraph. Nearly thirty years ago, this procedure involved sending scanned copies of signed documents via fax or email. Approaching the 3d millennium, society passed a series of laws, including the U.S. ESIGN Act in 2000, making digital autographs as legal as a handwritten one. Since then, respective software little by little began to penetrate into the global market, and nowadays we have advanced technology allowing us to manage high volumes of paperwork in a matter of few clicks.

Digital VS Electronic Signatures

It is necessary to be able to distinguish electronically signed contracts from ones with a digital signature. The first technology includes common verification methods, such as identification via email address, telephone number or corporate ID. This also provides an audit trail, so the user can track the status of the document. The second solution implements more enhanced security measures, where each file contains a separate ID bound to the mark put on it with an encryption, using the signer's private key at the very moment of creation.

When E-Signature Comes in Handy

The benefits of adopting electronic signature instead of wet-ink ones are obvious. Using pdf files instead of paper significantly reduces paper consumption and operating costs in such cases as:

  • concluding real estate and housing agreements
  • submission of tax and bank forms, and invoices
  • filling out patient intake forms, prescriptions and medical cards
  • executing employment agreements, NDAs, timesheets
  • completing permission slips, teacher reports or student loans
  • The digital distribution and exchange of papers speeds up their delivery as well as the entire signing process altogether.

    Create an Electronic Signature Using SignNow

    SignNow is a software that provides its users with tools for fast and convenient paper workflow. Having an account like this, a person is able to upload, edit, sign and send out documents of various kinds and formats. The key advantages of such digital solution include ability to work on the go, easy delivery to multiple recipients and the elimination of forgery.

    Encryption and Security

    When the user clicks "sign", a hash is created - using a mathematical algorithm and a block of data, not only specific to this particular client and totally unforgeable, but also momentarily encrypted using a newly created key for the client. The encrypted hash and the user's public key are combined into the electronic signature. SignNow app embeds the encrypted hash, which is its own certifiable information. It also contains data about every transaction conducted with the file once it is executed.

    Legally Binding

    Digital and electronic signature now hold the same legal standing as a wet one. In 2000, the US Congress passed the law known as the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Trade (ESIGN), which recognizes validity of the digital autograph. The IRS allows certain individuals to attest to the authenticity of copies of documents in view of an identical and earlier notarized copy of this document. Some states are even looking into allowing notarisation via virtual solutions.

    Variety of Supported Document Formats

    When speaking of a pdf, electronic signature can usually handle the task. To process a pdf file, we recommend using this popular solution - SignNow. When using this app, it displays the user’s metadata, or the verification of their identity, time of executing etc. SignNow users can upload any type of document from the usual DOC and PDF to PNG and JPG, and validate them with a signature using an exquisite underlying technology.

    Mobile Friendly

    The implementation of a digital signature application means that businesses can replace all their sheets of paper with electronic files. SignNow stands out among other services with a solution that is simultaneously user friendly, easy to configure, inexpensive and compatible with any kind of mobile device. Our software can intelligently manage an entire business from one small gadget, whether it is a smartphone or tablet. It is also available both in Android and iOS systems.

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