In a world full of frauds and online scams, internet users are always worried about finding a way to protect their online work and crucial documents. Since our surroundings are growing more and more digital day by day, it becomes difficult to keep track of our online profile and information continuously and religiously. There are many options to approve your online image but one of the most useful is an e- signature.
The lockdown saw many online frauds take place all over the country and the world. Some people got victimized by it while some people remembered to use their online security options correctly. If people were a little more careful about their choice, the crimes would decrease by a greater number.
E-signature is used to prove the consent of particular documents legally and also verify the documents. An electronic signature is a must for the authorization of confidential data or any important matter. It automatically provides ownership of the data. An electronicsignature is simply a handwritten signature instead of being physical it is a virtual one. It works as a vital element in recognizing the documents or information. It is a completely legal concept until it follows the rules of the particular authority.
In simpler words, an electronic signature is used for granting possession or identifying the owner or the signatory of that particular transaction or document. It provides personal security to the data and invalidates other internet users trying to break in and steal the material. For this, an electronic signature must be strong and complicated for others to decode. Also, it must be confidential and unique compared to other signatures. Since it is legalized in many countries; it is a very safe and trustable option considering all the frauds that happen daily online.
Many organizations have legalized electronic signatures such as electronic Identification Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) of the European Union, Digital Signature Standard (DSS) of the United States of America (USA), ZertES of Switzerland, etc. In India, an electronic signature has been legalized under the Information and Technology Act in 2000. There has been no more implementation of provisions since then as the use of electronic signatures isn’t too wide. A lot of people still opted for notary instead of virtual documentation due to the fear of getting scammed online.
Over the years e- signatures have become popular, and their use has been increasing rapidly since the lockdown and digitized work and personal lives. Electronic signatures are widely used in the business sector, human resources, sales sector, etc. In the business sector, it makes your work more efficient and quick as you can cover a lot with just one click on your computer. It also provides safe transactions and communications as long as certain rules are followed. In the human resources department, the electronic signature works as easy access provided to all the documents as per the need. Even in the sales sector, it makes mundane tasks faster and easily achievable. This invention is a boon to many working industries and individuals in terms of safety, verification, and consent.
There are different types of e- signatures available depending on their intent of difficulty. The simpler ones can be used for minimal and less vital data while the more vital ones can be used for confidential information. For choosing the perfect sign you must always check for its intent, authenticity, and identity. You must be sure about what you need in the particular signature and how it will be helpful to you. The intent makes sure the difficulty of the signature and the authenticity look after the uniqueness and the identity means if you are willing to disclose the identity of the signature during the verification process.
1) Simple electronic signature- in this type of signature it has less possibility of identifying the signatory and has less difficulty with intent. The content can’t be changed once the simple electronic signature (SES) is applied to a document. It doesn’t need any links to the signatory. Handwritten signatures, passwords, pin codes, One Time Password (OTP), e-mails, and SMS are examples or demonstrations of simple electronic signatures. These signatures may even vary from simple to advanced considering the process.
2) Advanced electronic signature- this type of signature has the possibility of identifying the signatory and has more difficulty with intent compared to simple electronic signatures. The content can’t and shouldn’t change once an advanced electronic signature (AES) is applied to the document. This signature is certainly linked to its signatory. A secure signature creation device is a must for this process as here we’re trying to authorize more important information. Biometric signatures, banking cards, e-mails, SMS, and One Time Password (OTP) are examples or demonstrations of advanced electronic signatures. These signatures have better security compared to simple electronic signatures in consideration of the intensity of the documents.
Qualified electronic signature- this type of signature has the complete capability of identifying the signatory and has the most complicated and strong intent. As mentioned above, the content here can’t be changed once a qualified electronic signature (QES) has been applied to the documents. The signature is uniquely linked to its signatory due to high-security conditions. Here, you also need a Secure Signature Creation Device (SSCD) to create the electronic signature. Electronic identity cards, certificates, USB, smartcards, etc are examples of qualified electronic signatures. This type always comes with one of the above-mentioned cards or tokens.
Electronic signatures and digital signatures are completely different from each other. Digital signatures are solely used to protect the documents and prove the authenticity of the communication. Digital signatures are widely used in e-commerce and are the opposite of electronic signatures. These signatures are related to cryptography and help to initially implement the electronic signatures but not necessarily. It usually is a visual fingerprint to identify a particular person’s identity. It gives the highest possible security to the documents and it also makes sure that there are no possible changes made after the contract is electronically signed.