e-signature

Best Way to Digitally Sign a PDF

Best Way to Digitally Sign a PDF

The ever-changing technology has advanced in such a way that nobody could have predicted. Look around, and you’d see that it has digitized pretty much everything. In this technology-driven era, you don’t have to waste your precious time doing simple tasks, such as signing documents and contracts. Those days are long past when signature meant manually signing a paper using a pen. Today, we aim to tell you the best way to digitally sign a pdf.

What is an Electronic Signature?

Electronic signatures have been on a roll since their inception. Electronic signatures refer to signing a document or a contract online. In simple words, it’s the digital form of your wet signature. An electronic signature serves the same purpose as the wet-signature, i.e., and signifies your consent on an online document.

Considering the fact that millions of professionals all over the world sign documents every day, electronic signatures hit the nail on the head. They have been around for quite some time now and for good reasons. Not only do they save an awful lot of your time, but they are convenient as well.

If you own a business organization and spend too much time signing documents every day, then consider switching to electronic signatures. You’ll certainly end up saving a great deal of your time, which you can invest in doing something productive. The best part about electronic signatures is that they have the same legal weight as wet signatures. Almost all the business organizations all over the world have started accepting these signatures. An absolute win-win for you!

How to do Electronic Signatures on PDF?

There are times when you have to sign a document on your phone, and there’s no way around it. Imagine you got an email, and you have to sign and send it back. One method that you may be aware of is to print it out to get a hard copy, sign it using a pen, then scan it and email it back. This may work for you if you don’t have to send it back instantly. However, if you’ve been asked to sign and send it back immediately, we can only send you sympathies. And it goes without saying that professionals cannot afford to waste this much time day-in, day-out.

Now you might be wondering if there is any way to virtually sign a pdf, and if possible, how to sign a pdf file? Well, there are plenty of options when it comes to signing documents and contracts online; none is better than Lunarpen.com. You can sign the document in all popular formats, let alone pdf. Let’s discuss what’s so special about Lunarpen.com.

What sets Lunarpen.com apart from the rest?

The main reason why Lunarpen.com is the go-to choice for professionals is that it brings all its expertise and highly advanced features to the table and ensures your documents’ safety with great efficiency. While signing the document, a private code is sent to both parties to verify their identity, and a time-stamped proof file is generated to protect your document. Furthermore, you can rest assured knowing that all the collected signatures by Lunarpen.com fully comply with the regulations and are as legally binding as the wet signatures.

At Lunarpen.com, sending and signing a document is an absolute cinch. The interface has been designed meticulously for your maximum convenience. You can upload the file from your desktop, Dropbox, and google drive, and then sending it to multiple parties is just a click away. Moreover, you can track the document to see its progress, which means that you can see who has signed and who is yet to sign.

What’s even better? Lunarpen.com is compatible with all widely used storage solutions, such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and many more. It also allows you to sign the documents right from Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, and the Chrome browser. And yes, did we forget to mention that you can access Lunarpen.com from all the devices, including mobile phones, laptops, and MacBooks. All you need is an internet connection, and you’re ready to go! Sign up for a free account now and take your signing up a notch.

How to create a signature at Lunarpen.com?

As we mentioned earlier, Lunarpen.com is all about your convenience. You get multiple options when it comes to creating your electronic signatures. You can either draw, type, or upload an image of your signatures to store them. Apart from that, there are plenty of professional templates of non-disclosure contracts, invoices, and other documents that you can send ready right off the bat. The cherry on the cake here is that you can share these templates with your colleagues as well. What else to ask for?

Final Thoughts

Electronic signatures have quickly replaced wet signatures, thanks to the convenience they offer. Lunarpen.com is a feature-packed yet easy-to-use solution that offers the fastest electronic signature experience. There are tons of features that ensure your document’s safety. Sign up for a free account now and get a digitally signed document in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I digitally sign a PDF on my phone?

When it comes to signing a PDF electronically on your phone, we recommend using Lunarpen.com. It offers the best signing experience, and your documents’ safety is guaranteed. Everything is incredibly simple and convenient as you can draw, upload, or type your signatures. Sign up for free to get the best signing experience.

Can we sign a PDF document?

Yes, you can digitally sign a PDF document. There are many apps that enable you to sign a pdf document, but Lunarpen.com is the most convenient and efficient one. Whether it’s a laptop or your mobile phone, you can sign a pdf through Lunarpen.com. It’s packed with groundbreaking features to ensure your documents’ safety.

Posted by Lunar Pen in eSignaure Law, 0 comments
Improving Employee Experience with Electronic Signatures

Improving Employee Experience with Electronic Signatures

Businesses have a mission to provide a great workplace to their employees, a place where people love to come to work, and where they can perform at their best. The key to improving the employee experience is to have a great workplace environment that employees will love to be in. Employers must prioritize employee experience and use technology to automate, simplify and save time for critical tasks and create a fantastic workplace. This way, working professionals feel more valued & appreciated, ultimately boosting employee experience.

What is employee experience, and why is it important?

Employee experience is the way your employees feel about your brand. It’s how they think about you as an employer, colleagues, company benefits, work environment, skills, and growth opportunities.

A Deloitte study found that almost 80% of executives worldwide rated employee experience as necessary or very important. It isn’t surprising that employee experience is directly related to company performance.

When employees have a positive experience, they are satisfied, engaged, and capable of completing their responsibilities efficiently and successfully. It has a favorable positive effect on the bottom-line revenue.

Improving employee experience with technology

Technology investments have to be guided by human needs to create an engaging employee experience. You can reap numerous benefits for business by introducing technology for an excellent employee experience like:

  • Delighted employees
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced workload
  • Enhanced wellbeing
  • Lower burnout & stress
  • Attract better talent
  • Companies get bigger profits
  • Better customer experience
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Simplified & Streamlined tasks

 

 

Why replace traditional signatures with electronic signatures?

With the increasing digitization in the workplace, there are many ways to make your workplace efficient, productive, and secure. One of the essential areas to upgrade is the process of signing documents. At present, organizations are using traditional methods to sign documents that consume time and reduce business efficiency.

In the current business scenario, a lot of paperwork needs to be signed, and it can get tedious for employees to sign them all within a limited time. Frequent lockdowns due to the pandemic in the last two years have forced employers to search for an innovative solution that helps their employees speedily sign off documents from the office or any remote location comfortably.

One such innovative technology in the market is electronic signature services. With electronic signature apps gaining a lot of recognition, industries are going gaga over them as they are simple, intuitive, convenient, and offer a high level of security for everyday business.

The winner technology in 2021 to improve the employee experience

If there was ever a time or period when all humans are supposed to go paperless, it is 2021. The current epidemic has not just altered our lifestyle but has forced businesses and organizations to rethink their working methods.

The COVID-19 outbreak accelerated virtual meetings, contactless transactions, online education, online payments, and digitization which is crucial for a smooth running of business. The current situation has also taught us how to work effectively without being physically present everywhere.

Among all this rapid transition, electronic signature technology is gaining a solid foothold in the market.

The digital signature market reached $2.8 Billion in 2020, and e-Signature transactions have jumped from 89 million to 754 million in just five years. It will reach $14.1 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 31.0%.

How do electronic signatures improve the employee experience?

Employees benefit from electronic signatures as it relieves them of repetitive tasks such as creating a physical copy of every customized contract, converting it to PDF, printing it, getting signatures from the stakeholder, and converting them into legally binding contracts and agreements.

Wait a moment! Employee responsibilities do not end here. Another significant problem is the security of physically signed contracts/agreements, which must be protected against theft, document fraud, and natural disasters. If the contract is misplaced or damaged at the storage facility, the employee may have to start searching for it from scratch, which is a substantial waste of time.

Electronic signatures let employees instantly switch from inefficient mode to efficient mode as critical documents can be uploaded, edited, generated, eSigned & stored using a single eSignature application. The app helps track the document signing progress and send reminders to signees without following up physically, offering a lot of relief to employees.

Benefits offered by electronic signatures to boost employee experience:

Gives employees an excellent onboarding experience: Using e-signatures reflects your company’s forward-thinking and efficiency-oriented culture. Apart from convenience & ease of use, employee onboarding using electronic signatures can help companies manage and track employees’ time on various tasks (such as reviewing documents, signing NDA’s, etc.) during their onboarding phase. It can also help companies measure the efficiency of their HR process and take necessary actions to restructure the onboarding process and improve the employee experience.

Assured integrity of documents: Signing a contract or agreement is a significant part of doing business. It’s a necessary legal process to protect your company, its employees, and its customers. Electronic signatures help you do this by making it easy for your employees to sign agreements with a few clicks of their mouse, saving them time and ensuring the integrity of all signed documents.

Sign documents with convenience: With electronic signatures, you can securely sign documents anywhere with internet access. So, if you are at the home, office, or on the move, you don’t need to rush back to your desk to sign a contract. And because it’s digital, you can even print out an electronic copy for your records or email it straight away to its stakeholders.

Reduce employee churn: 70% of 2,000 employees surveyed said they would quit a job if companies lacked high-performing and fast technology. Electronic signatures allow employees to spend less time doing paperwork and more time growing their business. With electronic signatures, you can automatically capture data from paper contracts and forms into the cloud to speed up everyday tasks like processing expenses, invoicing clients, and approving documents.

Increased efficiency by shifting to digital workflows: Shifting from paper-based processes to digital workflows can reduce expenses and increase efficiency for a business.

Electronic signatures reduce processes that previously required people to travel, use messaging services, schedule appointments, and manually control the tracking of a document to as few as two to three clicks. Now, employees can find eSigned documents easily, send notifications to signees, and track the signing of online documents from any location. It increases their efficiency to handle and prioritize more critical tasks.

Conclusion 

A digital tool like electronic signatures has a lot to offer to improve employee experiences like the ease of use, security, speed, convenience, and productivity. It keeps the employees motivated all the time and contributes to the organization’s success.

So, if you are a company that is not using e-signatures, then it is a golden chance to Integrate electronic signatures into your company and boost employee experience to become a market leader.

Posted by Lunar Pen in eSignaure Law, 0 comments
Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Their E-Signature Vendors

Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Their E-Signature Vendors

It is required to clear all your doubts before you choose an e-signature vendor for your business. Check out these common questions that you should ask e-signature vendor before choosing that!

With technology keeping up the transformation process, the effort is towards making tings entirely digital. E-signature is one of the prominent steps towards the same. This is helpful in terms of maintaining the workflow over the digital platform. Naturally, it can be helpful in terms of improving the efficacy of the process, as well as safety. Most importantly, it maintains the details of the clients and their privacy level. It is true, though, that not every e-signature platform is equally efficient. 

The effectiveness of an e-signature is actually dependent upon the needs. Hence, it is highly important to thoroughly ask e-signature vendor the questions that you feel essential prior to hiring. However, most people don’t even have an idea of what to ask. This is quite obvious as not everyone belongs to a technology background or having knowledge of the platform. To help on this matter, provided below is a guide about the things to ask e-signature vendors prior to hiring.

Thinking to adopt electronic signature for your business? Here are the points you need to consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

Top Questions to Ask Prior to Hiring E-signature Vendors

Hiring an e-signature vendor can be taken like hiring any other vendor. Hence, one can ask the e-signature vendor pretty much the same way as they would do for others. It’s all about being focused around the needs. However, there are some fundamental details that everyone is essential to know. Discussed below are a few of the very fundamental questions that one definitely needs to ask e-signature vendors.  

1. Can it be ensured that documents are not modified post every signature?

There are certain e-signature solutions that come up with a spec known as the tamper evidence. This enables the user to know whether an e-signed document has been modified. However, different technologies deal with this aspect in different methods. In this context, the first thing that needs to be checked is the security level of the concerned service provider is optimal or not. Don’t forget to ask e-signature vendor whether the technology makes use of tracks everything from the initiation phase of the transaction. Those do this only at the end of the signing process should not be taken in to account.    

2. Does it highlight illegal modifications attempted?

It is important to ask e-signature vendor whether it has highlighted the illicit alterations attempted. Crucial here is to understand that the authenticity of the document can be saved, proving the first signer didn’t change. Moreover, it is important to ensure that the first signer didn’t change prior to being sent to the other. Some vendors come up with extra options to keep the documents safe from tampering. This restricts any of the changes once the process is finished. 

3. What is the level of audit trail it goes for?

Variations are obvious with the level of details kept by different e-signature platform. One may ask e-signature vendor about the kind of trail it goes for. In this context, the most secured is considered the one is coming with a granular audit trail. It keeps track of each element of the whole method. Here the following aspects are kept track of.

Details on when and which date the document was put for submission.

Regarding the acknowledgment of the signer.

Regarding termination.

Regarding the IP of everyone who signs.

The specific time when every signature was put.

Details of the digital certificate issue.

A complete trail like this makes sure that the documents are backed by the legally acknowledged proof to confront any claim.

Electronic signature laws play an important role in the implementation of e-signatures. Let’s elaborate the role of ESign act in electronic signatures.

4. Can I depend upon you regarding the authentication of the signature?

It is important to ask e-signature vendor regarding the dependency on the provider regarding the authenticity of the signature. Complete details through the trails are useful when it comes to confronting the legal aspects. But, it is more important to ensure that the documents are accessible.

One should ask e-signature vendor whether it lets the user for authenticating signatures distinctively. It, in other words, is about seeking proof of the digital signature to be thoroughly integrated into the documents signed. An explicit e-signature setup comes with technicality making use of the public key infrastructure of PKI, as well as the published norms. This is essential to ensure that the documents are authentic and unaltered. The point is that you hold the right of the proof. This ensures about having access at any time wished. In this way, one can have access to even many years of post-transaction.  

5. Can you guarantee about meeting industry-standard?

It’s one of the most fundamental questions to ask e-signature vendor whether the concerned platform meets industry standards. In this context, it is crucial to meet the norms of ESIGN and UETA e-signature. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the e-signature platform meets the industry-specific norms.

6. Can I stay assured that only the acknowledge people get, have a view of, and get signed with the documents?

One of the most important questions to ask e-signature vendor is regarding who receives the documents. Basically, it has to be ensured that only the allowed groups of people get, see, and go for signing the documents. To avoid illicit access, it is important to ensure that the concerned vendor makes use of a dual authentication process. There should be one fundamental edition or stage asking the basic details, and the other about the details like password, phone number, etc.

There are certain documents that are more sensitive than others. A here greater level of authentication is quite obvious. Hence, it is crucial to take these aspects in to account when it comes to choosing e-signature vendor. For advanced level assurance, the following aspects should be ensured.

Explicitly email-based authentication

Here a user has to tap on a link within the mailbox to get into the transaction process.

Personal questions

Here the user is asked secret questions, mostly the personal questions.

Authentication based on knowledge

Here the user is asked to provide the birth date and the final four numbers of the SSN. Upon correctly answering, various MCQs are put forward; those have to be answered perfectly to have the transaction.

Also Read: An Overview of UETA and ESIGN Act

7. Is it possible for the e-signature to get integrated with the available document platforms?

It is important to ask before you choose e-signature vendor whether the e-signature can be combined with an available document. There are many e-signature providers that are capable of addressing these issues. However, here the extent of integration has to be checked out. It is advised to connect users through a single application. It would be even better to find a vendor capable of ensuring complete integration. It means that the e-signature solution is thoroughly personalized to meet the outlook and experience of the present technology. This is to ensure that the smooth signing experience is provided for you/the customer.

Apart from the tricky technical questions, there are certain very fundamental questions that have to be asked as well. These questions are very basic but absolutely important at the same time, as discussed below.

Digital Signatures and Electronic Signatures are two similar looking terms but are different from each other. Check out the difference between the two i.e. Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature

8. What is the number of customers that the concerned e-signature vendor is having in the industry?

This is one of the simplest questions every buyer should ask their e-signature vendors. There is nothing complex or technical about asking the question. All that needs to be ensured is whether the service provider is established in this arena. These services are quite technical and knowledge-based. 

On the other hand, not too many people remain aware of the affairs dealt with in this segment. It means the most reliable way to enquire is to know about the vendor through the client base it possesses. If possible, one may also connect with concerned clients. This provides the much-needed peace of mind for the user. Obviously, a vendor or service provider with more number of established client bases is more trustworthy.

9. How many clients has it dealt with those having similar requirements as you?

This is another fundamental question every buyer should ask their e-signature vendors. As discussed above, e-signature requirements and the associated constraints often vary from one case to the other. Naturally, the associated vendor is essential to be well versed in the kind of issues you deal with. 

It should be experienced enough in dealing with the kind of legal aspects your case is associated with. And, the best recommendation for this would be to enquire about the number of similar cases it has handled before. Moreover, the success rate on similar occasions is one of the important things to look into an e-signature vendor. Only if the vendor is proven enough in dealing with such requirements should it be hired.

Also Read: Top 10 Uses of Electronic Signatures

10. How many projects have they handled those who have gone live and can be referred to?

Be it about e-signature or anything else; success is always measured through the proven statistics. Coming to e-signature being particular, the number of projects it has handled has already gone live is a must to enquire about. It makes things easier for an enquirer or hirer to have the reference of the kind of project that the concerned user has handled. It talks a lot about their efficacy as well.

Final Words 

No doubt, e-signature has now become an integral part of every organization. To avail its benefits, most of the businesses whether small or large, are now adopting e-signatures. So, the above-mentioned ones are some of the most important and fundamental things to look at in an e-signature vendor prior to choosing that.

Here we have covered the ten most common questions that an organization should ask their electronic signature solution provider. One may enquire and list out some other questions as per his/her needs. So, ask how many questions you want to your vendor, clear your doubts, and get ready to implement e-signature to your business!

Posted by Brian Felix, 0 comments
The Ultimate Guide to E-Signature Security Checklist and Rules

The Ultimate Guide to E-Signature Security Checklist and Rules

Every modern business associates with one or the other form of electronic signature in its operations. The basic example of an electronic signature is an application asking for a PIN number or OTP for accessing specific services. With the increasing adoption of electronic signatures, e-signature security has become a highly important concern for every business in the present times. 

The transaction of sensitive information using e-signatures can pose substantial threats.  A number of experts have said that strengthening your security helps in avoiding unwanted expenses related to security issues. Therefore, every organization should follow the best practices to ensure a secure electronic signature

Also Read: Common Threats to the E-Signed Documents

List of E-signature Security Rules

In order to avoid the e-signature security issues, it is important to understand the e-signature security checklists and rules properly. So, the following discussion would take a look at some of the important e-signature security rules. In addition, the discussion would also focus on a security checklist for electronic signatures. So, without any further delay, let’s get ahead.

Rule #1

The first rule for secure electronic signature is to comply with eIDAS, UETA and ESIGN definitions of electronic signature. If these precedents are not applicable, then the e-signature should comply with other national/local regulations. For example, you have the Information Technology Act in India. When you select an e-signature solution in the US, make sure that it complies with the requirements of UETA, ESIGN, and GPEA.

On the contrary, these precedents do not clearly demarcate legally defensible from legally admissible. Various e-signature solutions are admissible in court albeit failing to withstand comprehensive legal scrutiny. The promises of E-signature security tend to fade away in this aspect. An interesting fact, in this case, would be the fact that ESIGN and UETA came into existence in 2000 and 1999, respectively. Therefore, the laws made for electronic signature security primarily defined that electronic signatures cannot be denied legal admissibility. 

However, in the present times, every organization uses ESIGN as a starting point for different e-signature requirements. Therefore, it is very important to measure the eligibility of e-signatures for additional requirements that make it legally defensible. Most important of all, you should ensure that high-risk transactions do not use e-signature technologies for low-risk transactions. 

Rule #2

The second e-signature security rule refers to the use of the same e-signature technology for all signatures on a document. If this condition is not fulfilled, then successive signatures should not destroy the evidence about previous signatures. On the other hand, if a document needs signatures from multiple signatories, then the same signature technology should be used. As a result, the intent, information, and integrity of the signature tend to remain unharmed. This is one of the most important precedents for e-signature security. 

Various e-signature technologies have unique processes for document preparation. The processes prepare the document for signing and also lock them in integrity. Passing a document through different e-signature technologies can result in loss of supporting legal evidence. The legal evidence is an embedded component in the document when the system prepares the document for the second signature. The best recommendation for secure e-signature is to adopt single e-signature technology for documents requiring multiple signatures. If that is not possible, then you should develop policies that prevent e-signature technologies from overwriting signatures.

The use of electronic signature brings so many benefits to your business. Here are the top reasons to adopt an electronic signature for your business.

Rule #3

The third rule in e-signature security implies capturing the intent to sign at each instance of the signature. A person having the intent to sign an electronic record should adopt an electronic form of signature. The intent specifies the approval for information in a document by the concerned individual. The intent capture should be done for each signature as well as at the time of each signature. The intent should form a part of granular evidence within the audit trail of the e-signature. 

The intent to sign is a formidable legal element and evidence for electronic signature security. Therefore, the intent to sign should be captured and recorded with attention to two distinct aspects. The first aspect implies the features in the e-signature solution for capturing signatory’s intent at document review and signature. Another important factor is the storage of intent as granular evidence in the audit trail. The best practice implies a representation of intent in clear language and actions explaining the process of signing to the signatory. 

In addition, the intent should also represent the desire to sign for the signing process. Representation of the intent to sign should also be included as granular evidence in the audit trail of the e-signature. Failing to produce the evidence can render the e-signature invalid. 

Rule #4

Now, we move towards our next rule for e-signature security by taking a hint from the previous rule discussed above. Every signed document should have an audit trail that includes the intent to sign for each signature. In addition, the audit trail should include consistent, timestamped, and granular evidence as we might have learned till now. Every e-signature should track and record all the steps in the signature process so that users could track a document. Users could observe different states of a document in a particular transaction through the audit trail.

Furthermore, the audit trail also helps in presenting a strong claim in court. Therefore, it is essential to have a highly granular audit trail with information on each step regardless of its importance. The details can help you make sure that your document holds up in the court. An audit trail is essentially important for reducing the risk for highly regulated organizations where documents are maintained for long.

Rule #5

The fifth rule of e-signature security refers to attaching an electronic signature to the electronic record being signed. Also, every signature should follow the established standards. The independent verification of the signature should not depend on the electronic signature service or website for validation. Another important concern related to e-signature is that association and integrity are not related together. Therefore, secure e-signature solutions should always ensure integrity as well as association. A reliable e-signature solution should prove the integrity of an e-signature alongside proving the association of the signature with a document. Proprietary means are ideal for achieving association that follows international standards for electronic signatures. 

Therefore, the best practice for e-signature security concerning this rule refers to legal consultation on certain aspects. The aspects include the format of the documents, proprietary nature of documents, human-readability of signatures, accessibility using free viewing software, etc. Also, it is important to verify that e-signature is an integral part of a document. The signature should also link with the document actively. Furthermore, you should also verify the association of each signature with international cryptographic and document standards. 

Also Read: Top 10 Uses of Electronic Signatures

Rule #6

The sixth rule for security in electronic signature refers to multi-factor authentication. However, you can limit to two-factor authentications in this case. The two-factor authentication would involve an email password or an OTP and a mobile device for accessing the password. According to the level of risk, some forms and documents may need higher levels of authentication. 

The risk determines the type of authentication required for verifying the signer’s identity. Therefore, the best practice implies to set up a strong precedent for authentication. As a result, any fluctuations are avoided easily. Two-factor authentication is the most recommended form of verifying signatory’s identity. Without a basic level of authentication, an organization faces the chances of improving risks and issues with evidence. 

Rule #7

The final rule for e-signature security refers to an instrument for preserving the integrity of a signed record. The signed record should be portable, tamper-evident, granular and independently verifiable. In addition, the record should also qualify for verification in the long-term. Therefore, integrity is highly crucial in order to prevent any tampering with electronic documents. Organizations should define the application of integrity to an electronic document. A standards-based e-signature is ideal in such cases. The governance of e-signatures depends on international standards. 

In addition, they also form the basis for secure web transactions (SSL). One of the important factors to keep in mind is to avoid vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in involves the vendor possessing evidence about your document. The implications of lock-in are numerous and can include possible costs, risks of the vendor going out of business. In addition, you also have the risk of the vendor changing their methods after a few years. You should not compromise with these factors when it comes to high-risk transactions.

Furthermore, you could be at risk if the vendor does not have specific standards or they just provide password protection. Therefore, you have to focus on four core issues for ensuring the verification and integrity of signatures. The first aspect refers to portability or independent verification. The other aspects include tamper-evidence, long-term verification, and granularity. 

People have a number of doubts about e-signatures that are spreading as myths. Let’s know these e-signature myths and facts behind them.

Checklist for Security in E-signature Solutions

Now, the most important concern in this discussion refers to the e-signature security checklist. The security checklist can act as a tool for verifying all the precedents of security for e-signature. You should always have the security checklist handy for determining the reliability of an e-signature solution. It also ensures that the integrity of the e-signature is always intact. So, let’s have a look at the e-signature security checklist.

  • User Authentication

The first aspect that is included in the checklist for e-signature security refers to user authentication. In this aspect, you should ensure the authentication of users before e-signing and integrate the authentication with the e-signature and record. The different factors that you should focus in this aspect refer to a solution for supporting multiple authentication methods. 

In addition, the solution should have capabilities for configuring different authentication methods in the same transaction. The solution shall provide flexibility for adapting authentication methods to the risk profile of an organization alongside automation of each process. The solution should also give flexible alternatives for attributing in-person signatures such as SMS password and affidavits. 

  • Audit Trail of the Signature

The next important factor in the e-signature security checklist is the audit trail. The audit trail provides additional security for an e-signature. E-signed documents that can have independent verification and archive have an additional layer of security. Vendor independence is possible only if the solutions can embed e-signatures, audit trail, and timestamp directly in the e-signed document. 

Therefore, you need to have a self-contained, portable record that can act as evidence. In this case, you need to look out specifically for two factors. The first factor implies the abilities for independent verification of document authenticity. The second factor refers to the capability for indexing, storing and retrieving the e-signed document in the preferred system of record. 

  • Securing the Document as well as a Signature

The aspect of document and signature security should also be one of the important agendas for e-signature security. The e-signature solution should ensure security at the signature level as well as the document level. The important aspects that you should look out for are highly important for safeguarding sensitive information. You should verify that each document and signature have security for e-signature.

Furthermore, you should have a comprehensive audit trail showing the date and time of each signature. The audit trail should also provide secure embedding in the document and proper link with each signature. You should also check for the facility of one-click signature and document verification. The ability for verification of signed record validity offline is also crucial in this aspect. Another important factor is that the document should remain accessible to all parties in the transaction. Most important of all, the solution should have the feature to download a verifiable copy of the signed record and audit trail. 

It is important to look into the security factors while choosing an electronic signature solution for your business. Here are the top points you should consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

  • Audit Trail of the Signing Process and Compliance Programs

You should also note the audit trail of the signing process for checking the security of e-signatures. It makes sure that the audit trail contains the IP address, date, and timestamp of all events and others. The other factors include the length of time for reviewing each document and all the web pages, disclosures, and documents presented. In addition, the audit trail should also represent intent and other actions taken during the transaction. Finally, you should ensure that the e-signature vendor has appropriate compliance programs in place to deal with data breaches.  The recommended compliance program is SOC2 while the other two are SSAE 16/SOC 1 and ISO 27001.

Bottom Line

In this discussion, we were able to learn the importance of rules for e-signature security. The most important part of the discussion was dealing with the rules only. The most crucial rule for the security of e-signature among all the e-signature rules primarily refers to the integrity and association. You should always ensure the facility of an audit trail to track the e-signing process.

Furthermore, the discussion also showed the importance of focusing on security for the e-signature as well as the document signed. Finally, the discussion moved towards a checklist after explaining the seven rules. The checklist helps in understanding the various factors that you should tick-off to get the best e-signature software

Always remember that security is always the best policy so understand the e-signature security checklist and rules first before using electronic signatures for your business! 

Posted by Brian Felix, 0 comments
What is an Electronic Signature (E-Signature)?

What is an Electronic Signature (E-Signature)?

It has been more than 20 years when electronic signatures been legal in the United States. Initially, when many countries started using electronic signature as a type of virtual signature, electronic signature (e-signature) was considered as a business luxury.

It took many years, and now, in 2019, electronic signature is well-recognized in the modern marketplace. Electronic signatures not only make the business transactions secure and convenient but reduces the cost.

Even after so much impact of electronic signatures on businesses, there are a number of people and business who are not familiar with the term ‘electronic signature’ as well the importance of electronic signature in the digital era. In this article, we’ll cover each and everything about the electronic signature, but let’s begin with ‘what is an electronic signature?’

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What is an Electronic Signature?

Electronic signature, commonly known as ‘e-signature’ and ‘e-sign’ is a legal concept, that is different from digital signature which is a cryptographic method used to implement electronic signatures. An electronic signature provides a precise and secure identification method to the signatory to provide a seamless transaction.

An electronic signature have equal legal value as that of a handwritten signature as long as it satisfies the requirements of the regulation under which it has been created. It is very simple to create an electronic signature, and once created, it can be added to any document, even along with other annotations like freeform text and check marks.

Definition of Electronic Signature:

In layman’s terms, an electronic signature, commonly known as e-signature, is an electronic expression of the agreement of a person to accept the terms mentioned in a particular document.

According to the US Federal ESIGN Act, that was passed in 2000, electronic signature can be defined as an electronic symbol, sound or process that is associated with a record or a contract logically. An electronic signature is created or adopted by a person in order to sign the record.

Now, you may be thinking if an electronic signature can really be symbol, sound or process!

Or you may be confused about what this symbol, sound or process is!

It basically means whenever a document is signed with an electronic signature, it is 100% legal standing whether it’s associated with a keystroke, a recorded verbal message, a selected checkbox or even a proposal.

To make it simple, let’s consider an example of an electronic signature.

Example of Electronic Signature:

With the technological advancement in this digital era, the documents are written and signed electronically. You may find electronic signature everywhere, even when you may not even be aware that you are using an electronic signature. Here are a few examples of the electronic signature:

All of you would be using Facebook. Whenever you click on the “Sign Up” you are agreed with and accept the Facebook’s privacy policy and terms of use. It means you sign those terms of use and privacy policy documents electronically with the e-signature. Such a click on the signup button is just like a keystroke, a process, that is an electronic signature example. Many other social sites and other web pages use this feature such as Twitter, MySpace, foursquare etc.

Another electronic signature example is signing the electronic pad. Many of you who have done online shopping would be familiar with this. When you do online shopping and purchase something by using your debit card or credit card at Walmart, you will have to put electronic signature while accepting the order. Many other store chains also use electronic signature like this such as Best Buy, Game Stop etc.

Is Electronic Signature Legal?

Of course! The electronic signatures are legalized and acts as a legal binding. In the United States, the electronic signatures are legal and recognized as the handwritten signatures after the approval of the following acts:

Combined together, these two acts – UETA and ESIGN ACT allow the usage of electronic signatures to replace the handwritten signatures. It is required that an electronic signature meets the four legal hallmarks of the e-signature. In simple terms, here are four requirements for an electronic signature to be recognized and validated by the US law, these are:

  1. The signer is who he/she claims to be. An electronic signature is the identity of the signer. If required, the identity of the signer could be authenticated or verified using a number of digital markers such as an IP address.
  2. The intention of the signer to sign is clear. The terms of the document/ contract/ transaction should have been communicated well with the signer. The signer should be intentionally agreed to undergo the e-signing procedure.
  3. It could be verified that the signature is associated with the signed document. This parameter basically involves the signing process such as how the document was signed, which process the signer completed, and which documentation supports the electronic transaction involving e-signature.
  4. The record should be retained by the creator or sender. The electronic signature records and documents should be created to retain and reproduce accurately for further reference by all the parties and individuals who are responsible to retain the record or contract.

Also Read: Ways to Future Proof Your E-Signature Investment

Types of Electronic Signature

If you are new to the term electronic signature, you may be confused about what forms the electronic signature and what’s the difference between different types of electronic signatures on the basis of legality and evidential power. Before getting into the different types of electronic signatures, it is important to understand the basics about the electronic signature.

E-signature is a mark that can be used on an electronic document to show the intention of the signer to submit his/her approval on the contents of the document. It is not important how the eSign is created but important is the person with whom the sign belongs to and the document that shouldn’t be changed subsequently.

As per eIDAS regulation, e-signatures can be categorised into different types on the basis of the level of security they provide. There are four types of electronic signatures:

  • Click-to-Sign Signatures
  • Basic Electronic Signatures
  • Advanced Electronic Signatures
  • Qualified Electronic Signatures

Let’s understand these signature one by one.

1. Click-to-Sign Signatures

Click-to-Sign category includes signatures in the form of scanned images, tick boxed, typed names, and e-squiggles. In this type, the document is not provided with any cryptographic protection. Due to which, this type of signatures neither verify the signatory nor protect the document to be changed. It is possible to cut and paste this type of signatures from one document to another easily. Using this type of signatures by own is not at all recommended.

2. Basic Electronic Signatures

Basic electronic signatures involve the process of applying a handwritten signature mark on the document by the signer which is then protected with a cryptographic digital signature. So, the basic electronic signatures allow the signer to create a crypto digital signature by using a server-held signing key so-referred to as a witness digital signature.

Whenever the user applies e-signature on any document, this witness digital signature is applied every time which binds the e-signature to the document cryptographically from any subsequent changes, thus ensures data integrity. Whenever the user apply e-signature on any document, this witness digital signature is applied every time which binds the e-signature to the document cryptographically.

3. Advanced Electronic Signatures

As the name suggests, being the advanced ones, advanced electronic signatures have a higher level of security. An electronic signature that meets the requirements mentioned under the EU regulation No 910/2014 (eIDAS-regulation) regarding electronic identification and electronic transactions in the internet market, is known as the advanced electronic signature.

eIDAS has created some standards regarding the use of electronic signatures with the intent to use them in a secure manner while conducting online business or official business over the globe.

An electronic signature must meet the following requirements to become an advanced electronic signature:

  • The signatory could be identified uniquely and linked to the signature
  • The signatory must have all the control of the data that was used to create the electronic signature
  • In the event that the accompanying data has been damaged or tampered after the document was signed, the signature must be identified
  • In the event that the accompanying data has been modified or changed after the document was signed, the signature must be invalidated

4. Qualified Electronic Signatures

A qualified electronic signature is actually an advanced electronic signature with some additional features. The qualified signatures are created with the help of a qualified signature creation device. Also, these signatures are based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.

The examples of the qualified electronic signatures are the electronic signatures created by using electronic National Identity documents and the electronic signature certificates stored on encrypted cards.

As mentioned in the national ‘trusted lists’ of the EU member state, the public or private providers those have gained the qualified status by a national authority can provide the qualified certificates for electronic signatures. The qualified certificate providers may provide a private key corresponding to a qualified signature creation device.

The Qualified electronic signatures are the more trusted and secure versions of the advanced electronic signatures as they have the highest levels of security in order to protect the user signing key. The advantage of qualified signatures is that they can exactly verify who has signed the document just as advanced electronic signatures.

So, these are the different types of electronic signatures as per different levels of security. You can choose one as per the level of security required for the document to be signed. For instance, to sign school forms, rental agreements, etc one can choose to use click-to-sign electronic signatures or basic electronic signatures. While dealing with invoices, business contracts, legal agreements, and other confidential documents, it is recommended to choose advanced or qualified electronic signatures.

It is important to look into the security factors while choosing an electronic signature solution for your business. Here are the top points you should consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

Why Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature is a secure and legal form of signature and many businesses and enterprises opt e-signatures for their versatility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Electronic signatures have laid a great impact on businesses. Here’s what businesses can do with e-signature, and why should they opt e-signatures:

  • Verification of the Signatory’s Identity – An electronic signature uniquely identifies the signatory and verify that the signatory is linked to that particular signature. An e-signature is one of the most secure types of virtual signature that is accepted legally.
  • Associate the essential identifiers with the signing process – In business transactions, it is possible that one or more identifiers i.e. individuals are associated with it. In that case, electronic signatures help to associate all the essential identifiers with the signing process.
  • Easily store and retain the signed documents – Electronic signatures can be imparted on the online or offline documents which can be stored and retained easily. It is possible to keep a soft as well as hard copy of the e-signed documents, as per convenience and requirements.
  • Safely capture a binding and legal signature – Electronic signature is a legal signature that is as valuable as a handwritten signature. An electronic signature is a safely taken capture of the legal and binding signature that can be used whenever and wherever required.
  • Makes business transactions convenient and versatile – No doubt, with the legal acceptance and usage of electronic signature, the business transactions have become highly convenient and versatile. Even when the signatories are across borders, they can easily sign the documents with the electronic signatures.
  • Reduces the cost of business transactions – Business transactions were not so cost-effective before the legal acceptance and usage of the electronic signatures. While using there is no requirement of the digital certificates, also these are legally accepted, which reduces the cost eventually.

From the above points, it is clear that electronic signatures provide an easy, secure and legal means of signing that saves time, effort as well as money. It is not wrong to say, if you are the one who is looking for an effective, convenient, versatile, and cost-effective business transactions, you should adopt the electronic signatures.

Thinking to adopt the electronic signature for your business? Here are the points you need to consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

What is the Electronic Signature Used for?

In the above sections, we have understood what is an electronic signature, examples of electronic signature, and why to use it. But you may be wondering about where an electronic signature can be used. So, in this section, let’s check out where you can use an electronic signature. There are various kind of documents that can be signed with an electronic signature such as,

  • Invoices, sales contracts, and NDAs
  • Employee paperwork, timesheets, and approve proposals
  • School forms, permission slips, and release forms
  • Leases, property, and other housing and rental agreements
  • Bank forms, tax documents, and insurance forms

An electronic signature can be used in different forms of documents in different areas that are being mentioned as follows –

  • In-state and self-government institutions communication – An electronic signature can be used in all types of documents that are to be submitted in the state or self-government institutions.
  • For legal transactions – To sign invoices, contracts, NDAs, submissions or any other type of documents separately or through accounting or recoding systems, electronic signatures can be used. E-signature has the equal value as that of the handwritten signature.
  • Empowerment of individuals – The documents issued by notary after the issuance of a power may be in the form of an electronic document, containing an e-signature. These e-signed electronic documents then can be shared with the authority that has requested the document and also can be used in the future.
  • Identification of Signatory – Whether online or offline, when you submit a document with an electronic signature, it acts as a proof of the identification of the signatory. For example, the e-signed leases, property documents, and other housing and rental agreements verify the identity of the signatory.
  • To ensure official communication with the customers – In businesses, entrepreneurs who require the receipt of services for their applications as a sample form, they can ensure and provide public access to the relevant forms. They can make those forms available in an editable form and allow customers to download them in order to fill them in the electronic form and signed with the electronic signature.

Above are the documents and forms where e-signature can be used. E-signature can be used at a number of places but not everywhere. Yes, you must be familiar with the exceptions where electronic signatures are still not valid. You can not use e-signatures while dealing with:

  • Marriage registration
  • Family law, and
  • Inheritance rights

So, it is clear now where it is legal to electronic signature and where not, which is very important to understand before using electronic signatures. Now, you can decide whether you should use electronic signature to verify a document or not. Also, you can choose the type of electronic signature on the basis of the level of security required for your document.

Also Read: Uses of Electronic Signature for Small Businesses

How does Electronic Signature Work?

In this digital world where e-signature has become a need of the hour, it is important for individuals as well as businesses to understand electronic signatures. E-signatures help to reduce time, hassle, and money in terms of signing the most important documents and they are easier to use even more than you think. If you want to learn how electronic signature works, you should know that there are many online available electronic signature software. So, let’s understand how does an electronic signature software work.

Nowadays, technology advancement has made everything easier. So, the modern eSignature software are designed as simple to use as possible. If you are an e-signature software user, you need to follow the below steps to collect one or more e-signatures:

Step 1: Upload an existing document or create a new document using the in-built tools of the software

Step 2: Define the fields properly that are required to be filled out by the responsible person such as date, address, signature, etc.

Step 3: Locate the fields wherever you want to place them in your document

Step 4: Make the final settings for the adjustment such as draft the message in the email, set up a signing order, and so on

Step 5: Share the document via email to the signatory to sign.

At the receiver’s (signatory’s) side, the signing process with the use of e-signature software is even simpler. When the sender signs an email, the signatory will receive an email or any other notification from the e-signature service such as create an account or sign in, upload a photo of your signature, create your signature using a stock font or other available method to sign the document.

The signatory can just open the document by clicking on the link given in the email and create/upload his or her electronic signature. Then he can just confirm and submit the signed document.

Also Read: Electronic Signature Workflow

Benefits of Using Electronic Signature

Electronic signatures are meant for individuals as well as businesses. When we talk about individual usage of e-signature such as using on invoices, timesheet, school forms, sales contracts, housing, and rental agreements, it brings benefits like a significant reduction in time, effort, money and hassle.

But when we consider the business usage of electronic signature, along with these benefits, e-signatures bring a number of other benefits for the businesses. So, let’s discuss the business benefits of electronic signature in detail.

  • Get documents signed fast – With an electronic signature, the document is signed very fast i.e. within few minutes. Signing a document with a handwritten signature would not also take time, but it takes time when the signatory is at distance. By using an electronic signature software, you can create and send any document to be signed over the boundaries in less than minute. The document is then received by the signatory and signed in no time.
  • Sign documents from anywhere – For the handwritten signature, the sender had to wait for days to weeks depending on the location of the signatory. Sometimes, it might not be possible to send confidential documents via post. Or when sent through email, the signatory would have to get the hard copy to sign, and again shared the scanned copy after signature. It might also take a few hours. But e-signature and e-signature software has made the signing process very simple. Now, wherever be the signatory, the documents are sent in email via e-signature software, and get signed within minutes.
  • Save money with e-signature software packages – There is no doubt that e-signature software has made the signing process simpler. Now, you don’t need to spend on getting hard copy of the documents and sending them via post to the signatory. Also, one can make big savings on the monthly and yearly packages offered by the electronic signature vendors. So, it brings business benefits of electronic signature in terms of investment.
  • Collect secure and legally binding signatures – As mentioned earlier, sharing confidential and signed documents via post or over internet might not be much secure. But e-signature software are secure enough to be used in order to share the confidential information and signatures. Besides, electronic signatures are secure and legally approved signatures, so you can create once and use them whenever and wherever required.
  • Effort and time saving to handle technical hassles – When you decide to use electronic signature for your business, organization or individual usage, you opt to use an electronic signature software. By using an e-signature software, businesses save their time as these software are not only easy to use, but comes with a support team of technical experts that is always ready to resolve all your queries.
  • Increased service and efficiency – Now, with the electronic signature, business and legal departments need not to cut down the business expenses by avoiding the services. But they should opt to use e-signatures like modern technologies to reduce their costs. An e-signature vendor helps the businesses to digitize all the important and confidential legal documents. Also, it helps to share and sign the documents in an easy, fast, and secure manner, independent of the number of parties involved.

So, if you are the one who has not yet used electronic signature or were just thinking about its benefits, it’s the time to take the action. It is important to get ahead with the advancement in modern technology, it always brings a number of benefits. So, to get the benefits of e-signature, use it now.

Read Now: Cost Saving Benefits of E-Signature

Electronic Signature vs Digital Signature

Typically, the electronic signature and digital signature, both are used interchangeably without any difference between the two, but both are the different terms. The main difference between digital signature and electronic signature is that digital signature is used to secure documents, mainly by the certification authorities, while electronic signature is used to verify documents, with an intention of the signatory to do so.

Let’s have a look at Electronic signature vs digital signature table below to understand the difference between the electronic signature and digital signature in a better way:

Electronic Signature Vs Digital Signature
Factor of Difference Electronic Signature Digital Signature
Purpose An electronic signature is used with a purpose of verifying a document. A digital signature is used with a purpose of securing a document.
Regulation An electronic signature is usually not verified by any authority. A digital signature is authorized as well as regulated by the certification authorities.
Types of Signatures An electronic signature is basically used to identify the signatory who signed the document/ contract for the verification purpose. It can be in the form of a symbol, sound, process, scanned image etc. The common types of electronic signature are – click-to-sign signature, basic electronic signatures, advanced electronic signatures, and qualified signatures. A digital signature is generally used to secure the document. There are commonly two types of digital signatures on the basis of document processing platform such as Microsoft and Adobe PDF.
Security An electronic signature is comparatively less secure as it is comprised of less security features, just to secure it not to be used by other people without permission. A digital signature is more secure than the electronic signature as it is comprised of more security features.
Intention The main intention behind using an electronic signature is to sign a document or contract in order to verify that. Generally, two or people involved in a contract, they sign a document to show their commitment, and that document becomes a legally binding between them. The main intention behind using a digital signature is to secure a document to keep it safe from the unauthorized people. It is authenticated by the owner of the document and also act as a legal binding.
Verification It is difficult to check and verify the owner of the document as an electronic signature is not certified. An electronic signature compromises integrity as well as the authenticity of the document. A digital signature can be verified to know the original author i.e. the owner of the document. It can be verified if the original document has not been tempered with, by any unauthorized access.

As electronic signature and digital signature are mostly considered same, as synonyms, it is significant to know the difference between the two.

It is important to understand that Electronic Signature and Digital Signature are similar-looking terms but different from each other. Here is the detailed difference between the two i.e. Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature.

Final Words

An electronic signature is basically equivalent to the handwritten signature. It is used to verify a document in order to confirm the terms of that document. It is not wrong to say that an electronic signature is a digitized form of a handwritten signature. An electronic signature acts as a legal binding between the participants, independent of their number.

It is absolutely secure and legal to use electronic signatures by individuals and businesses. The use of electronic signature has brought numerous benefits for businesses as well as individuals. If you want to save your time and money, and want to get rid of the hassle involved in signing business documents, choose an e-signature software and start using electronic signature from now.

Posted by Brian Felix, 0 comments