Electronic Signatures and its Types
Not everyone is actually aware of what electronic signature is about and on how different types of e-signature differs from each when it comes to evidential and legality 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.
Here in this article, we will be focusing on the different types of electronic signatures that are used in today’s time.
Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – these normally include 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 being said, these signatures are not enough to provide strong evidence of who have really signed or protect the doc from further changes. There is a possibility that it might be just cut and pasted from another document.
Number 2. Basic electronic signature – these are going to need the signer to apply their hand signature mark on the document and then, it’ll be protected by making use of 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. Hence, this is referred to 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 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 that these are otherwise referred to 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 plenty of benefits which include 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.