Get Your Terms Straight – Digital and Electronic Signatures

When you talk about these terms about signatures, digital signatures and electronic signatures mean two very different things. In the most basic level, all digital signatures are signatures in electronic form. There are various methods by which a document can be authenticated with the use of signatures.

The difference of both signatures

The authenticity of a digital document is denoted by a digital signature which is a mathematical system. It is not compulsory that contains letters and scribbles like the usual signature, but can be regarded as a badge which is affixed to the document. This badge certifies that the document was not altered before it was sent.

An electronic signature, on the other hand, is a broad term that covers any mark or badge that has the intent of authenticating a document. In many countries around the world, these signatures carry legal significance and have the same weight as handwritten transactions. However, electronic badges are not necessarily encrypted like digital ones.


A digital signature uses asymmetric cryptography and, just like handwritten signatures, is very difficult to forge. If a signature is cryptographically created, then it must be affixed to a document properly for it actually to matter. They both can provide the signer non-repudiation, most often in cases where special keys are required to access the signature. This simply implies that it is impossible for the signer to calm that he did not sign the document because him alone have access to does special keys. Some non-repudiation formats have a time stamp for the digital signature. If the private key is made known or leaked out, the time stamp will be able to determine if the signature was valid at the time it was created.Electronic and digital signatures may be created as a bit string like in email, digital contracts and other messages sent over an encrypted protocol.

Individuals or businesses who want to try using an electronic signature often wonder whether or not these forms of authentication are legally binding. In the United States, for example, they are legal as long as they were affixed using a process that shows that the signer had the intention of signing the document. The signatures in electronic form must also be compliant to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act of 2000 and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. These two acts have been adopted by most states in the US. All signatures in electronic form are legally binding and are regularly audited. More details here:

Electronic or digital signatures, no doubt, will make your business processes more efficient. It streamlines your processes and makes them run more smoothly. No more countless exchanges of documents to sign, scan and review. All these can be done automatically. Using an e signature is a good idea for offices that want to go completely paperless to help the environment and cut costs.

These badges are very important to businesses that make transactions for software delivery, payments, and documents that should not be tampered or forged. That is why the necessity of the digital and electronic signature can’t be overemphasized…