Chances are you’ve seen an eSignature before but may not have known what it was. An eSignature, or electronic signature, is simply a way to sign documents electronically. You may have been asked to provide an eSignature when filling out an online form or application. Also, esignature streamline signing processes, save on printing and shipping costs, and enhance security.
In the past, paper documents were the norm and required a physical signature in order to be considered legal and binding. However, with the advent of digital technologies, this is no longer the case.
Today, signed documents can be exchanged and stored electronically without any loss of legal validity or authenticity. This is thanks to electronic signatures, which use digital signatures to verify the identity of the signer and authenticate the document itself.
How Do Electronic Signatures Work?
Electronic signatures are based on a set of industry-standard cryptographic algorithms that create a unique digital fingerprint for each document. This fingerprint is then used to verify the document’s authenticity and integrity. It also allows businesses to track when and where a document was signed, as well as who signed it.
There are two main types of electronic signatures:
- Standard encryption algorithms: These are the most common type of electronic signature and are typically used for simple documents such as emails or PDFs. Common encryption algorithms include Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME).
- Cryptographic message syntax (CMS): CMS signatures are more advanced than standard encryption algorithms and are typically used for high-value transactions such as property purchases or loans.
CMS signatures use public key infrastructure (PKI) to verifying the signer’s identity and authenticate the document. PKI involves issuing each signer with a unique digital certificate that contains their name, address, and other identifying information.
How to Use an Electronic Signature
There are several ways you can sign documents electronically. One popular method is using a software program to insert your signature into a PDF document. You can also use an online service like to sign documents electronically. These services allow you to upload the document you need to sign, add your signature using your mouse or trackpad, and then save or print the signed document.
If you’re sending someone else a document to sign, you’ll need their permission first. Once you have this, you can either send them a link to the document via email or SMS, or generate a QR code that they can scan with their mobile device in order to access it. Once they’ve signed the document, you’ll receive notification from the service confirming that it has been completed.
Electronic signatures (eSignatures) are simply a way of signing documents electronically – making them legal and binding. Using cryptographic algorithms, businesses can track when and where a document was signed as well as who signed it exactly – enhancing security measures when needed most such as for high-value transactions. Utilize software programs to add your signature to PDFs or other documents requested digitally in today’s world!
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