Brief on Digital Signature/ E-Signature 

Electronic signature and digital signature are often used interchangeably but the truth is that  these two concepts are different. The main difference between the two is that digital signature  is mainly used to secure documents and is authorized by certification authorities while  electronic signature is often associated with a contract where the signer has got the intention  to do so. More details about the difference between the two are provided below.  

Key features of Digital Signature  

A digital signature is characterized by a unique feature that is in digital form like fingerprint  that is embedded in a document. The signer is required to have a digital certificate so that he  or she can be linked to the document. Digital signature is often authorized by certification  authorities that are responsible for providing digital certificates that can be compared to  licenses or passports.

A digital certificate is used to validate the document to ascertain its  authenticity if it has not been forged. This plays a pivotal role in verifying the identity of the  original person with the signature. The other key feature of a digital signature is that it is used  to secure digital documents.  

There are some people who have a tendency of tempering with digital documents obtained  online but with a digital signature, this can be impossible. The document is secured and can  only be accessed by the authorized person for any alterations or amendments. When a digital  signature is applied to a certain document, the digital certificate is bound to the data being  signed into one unique fingerprint.

These two components of the digital signature are unique  and this makes it more viable than wet signatures since its origins can be authenticated. This  cryptographic operation helps to perform the following functions: 

• Prove the authenticity of the document and its source.  

• Make sure that the document has not been tempered with. 

• Personal identity has been verified.  

• The other notable aspect about digital signature is that it is comprised of different types  that are supported by mainly two document processing platforms that are adobe and  Microsoft. 

Key Features of Electronic signature  

An electronic signature is described as any electronic symbol, process or sound that is  associated with a record or contract where there is intention to sign the document by the party  involved. The major feature of an electronic signature is thus the intention to sign the  document or the contract. There is other notable aspect that makes an electronic signature  different from a digital signature. An electronic signature can be verbal, a simple click  of the box or any electronically signed authorization. 

Main feature of an electronic signature is that it reveals the intent by the signer to sign the  document. This is usually applicable to contracts or other related agreements that are entered  into by two parties. As noted, there are different types of electronic signatures and these are legally binding once all parties have shown their commitment and intent to enter into a  certain contract. The other aspect about an electronic signature is that it helps to verify the  document.  

If it has been signed, its authenticity can be verified where the parties involved can be  identified. However, an electronic document can be difficult to verify given that a digital  certificate similar to the one given for digital signature is not provided.

The other notable  feature of an electronic signature is that it is used to execute an agreement. For instance, in a  contract, two people usually agree to fulfill certain duties and this agreement can only  become legally binding when it has been signed by both parties. This is when an electronic  signature can be used. On top of that, it can be observed that electronic signatures are  commonly used in contracts by virtue of the fact that they are easy to use.

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