What’s the difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature?
The broader term “electronic signature,” when used colloquially, encompasses both electronic signatures and digital signatures; but there are technical differences between the two. Digital signatures require more stringent technology for authentication and verification compared to their electronic signature counterparts. Digital signatures require PKI (public key infrastructure) and a digital certificate identity.
A digital identity certificate is a digital marker that shows the signing process took place under a safe and trusted environment. For this certificate to appear on a signed document, no changes can be made to the language after the various parties sign – thus ensuring that the terms included stay fixed. The certificate is also used to confirm the identity of the person or the name of an organization.
Digital certificates must be issued by a trusted authority who also acts as the guarantor, the Certificate Authority (CA). DottedSign’s digital certificate is issued by an authorized AATL (Adobe Approved Trust List) member. AATL is the world’s largest trust service for electronic documents.
Where exactly is the digital certificate located? Simply open your completed document with Adobe and you will see a small green check mark in the top left corner that lets you know all signatures are valid!
Depending on the country or industry, digital signatures may be required for certain documents; however, electronic signatures cover the majority of common business needs and are accepted in most countries.