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How Do Electronic Signatures Work ?

electronic signature

Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures, allow you to sign documents and verify your identity electronically. It can be used in different settings, like forms, legal documents, or any other document that needs signing. As the world continues to go digital and virtual, many business and legal transactions are more likely to be carried out over the Internet.

What Are the Types of Electronic Signatures and How Do They Work?

Before you start looking for e-signature software reviews, it helps to learn about how the different types of e-signatures work.

Digital Signatures

A digital signature uses mathematical codes to create hash keys to form a unique identity or key for the signer. This is done by uploading your documents to an electronic signature website or application. Three types of digital signatures are classified based on the kind of technology they use. These are:

  • The simple digital signature, is not protected by any encryption technology.
  • The basic digital signature, can show changes that occur after a document has been signed.
  • The advanced and qualified digital signature, is the most secure of the three digital signatures. This digital signature is also legally binding, unlike the simple and basic ones that are not.

Biometric Signatures

Biometric signatures use your physical features, such as your fingerprints, face, and voice, to create an identity that is subsequently encrypted for security purposes. A biometric signature is highly recommended in business transactions where identity needs to be confirmed.

Biometric signatures are of different types, ranging from vein recognition to the shape and size of your finger. This is known as finger geometry. Another standard option is retinal scanning for even more security.

Identity Verification Software

An identity verification device helps you know if a person is who they say they are when they reach out. It provides an additional layer of security compared to passwords or regular usernames. Identity verification uses more personal information, such as birthdays, national identity numbers or cards, and biometrics. There are two main types of identity verification. These are:

Two-factor Authentication

This mode of verification is usually found on social media and online payment service accounts. It is used to provide added security for their users’ identities, either in the form of a token or through text messages. This alerts the user of suspicious activity on their account.

Knowledge-based Authentication

This requires a user to respond to security questions such as where you met your spouse or your mother’s name. Multi-factor authentication uses OTPs, pins, and facial recognition to detect the identity of a user.

Database Authentication

This is a newer mode of verification that uses artificial intelligence to identify a user using physical features such as facial structure, voice, and retina. It uses data from different sources to identify and authenticate a user’s identity.

Signature Capture Device

These devices are used to capture signatures and store them in a database. The algorithm in the database compares them with previous signatures to remove or limit the possibility of fraud. This capture is usually done on a tablet that has an LCD touchpad. It could also come in the form of a device that scans a prewritten signature and saves it. There is a lot of software today that allows you to run e-signatures for a token.

Finally, e-signature does not simply protect business owners and their clients; it also saves time and makes the verification process easier and faster. Most high-stakes business transactions require a legal signature, especially in cases where either the individual or the document is not available in hard copy. The investment is worth it for any business owner who wants to take customer security to the next level.

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