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Digital Signature vs. Electronic Signature: Which Do You Need?

Digital Signature vs. Electronic Signature: Which Do You Need?

Sep 21, 2023 17:50 PM

Digital Signature vs. Electronic Signature

When we hear "signature," most know that it does not mean "ink on paper signature" and only that, but it also encompasses all forms of digital signature that can be created in the present. When looking up digital signatures or electronic signatures, many people ask whether there is a distinction.

What is a Digital Signature?

Digital signatures are a method for checking the authenticity of digital signatures to protect against fraud during the process of sending and receiving them. Digital signatures can be described as a specific kind of digital signature that can be used to show the person receiving the document that it has been signed by the individual who claimed to have signed the document.

The process of signing with a digital signature is based upon PKI technology and also what's called a private key. This key is used to determine the fingerprint of the data in the document and incorporate that fingerprint into its signature details. The signature data is incorporated inside the document, along with a public key linked to the private one.

Anyone who opens the document can examine the embedded signature data and the public key to determine if both signatures and information are genuine. If the signatures aren't visible or the signature information has changed or altered, then the signature isn't valid.

Digital signatures are a way to confirm that no one has altered an original copy of the document and that the document isn't counterfeit. It's akin to fingerprints that are unique to the document, and other documents can't be issued with an identical digital signature.

What is an Electronic Signature?

Electronic signatures are a type of signature that is done electronically and incorporated into the intention of signing the document. It usually replaces the traditional "signing by hand" process and digitizes the process of signing. Electronic signatures are signatures that are printed in the form of copies as well as typed signatures and electronic signatures added at the bottom of a letter or email.

It's a form of sign-off on the content of the document. It's usually done using a visual symbol, but it can also be ascribed using a checkbox, written name, or uploaded signature image. Electronic signatures could be regarded as simpler, quicker, and more efficient as opposed to pen and paper. You can save more time and money by not having to print, sign, scan, or send your documents.

How Digital Signatures Work

Digital Signature vs. Electronic Signature

In the case of digital signatures, the signature's identity is verified by a trusted third party referred to as a Certificate Authority (CA), in which the CA digitally connects the signature to an infrastructure-based public key (PKI) digital signature. With digital signature certificates, users can sign digitally, which can be substantially made simpler by using cloud-based signature platforms.

A digital signature ultimately serves as a digital fingerprint of the signer, protecting a document from fraud and tampering. A complete, secure cryptographic procedure allows digital signatures to guarantee:

The process of authenticating a document

The process of verifying a signer's identity is done by an intermediary service provider (also called an accredited certificate authority).

There was no evidence of forgery or tampering after an electronic signature was made (the signature will be considered invalid if any changes are found).

If you're trying to distinguish between them, When deciding between the two, keep in mind the fact that digital signatures may be electronic signatures; however, they're not always digitally signed. While they're frequently used interchangeably, the majority of electronic signatures do not have the security features that are found in authentic digital signatures.

What's the Difference Between Electronic and Digital Signatures?

The main reason for this is that they are often misunderstood, as digital and electronic signatures have different functions. Electronic signatures are a broad term that implies that the person signing the document is actively and willingly agreeing. Digital signatures, on the contrary, offer confirmation of the authenticity of a document signed by the signer. altered or faked.

Security: The level of security varies based on the level of security of an organization's industry standards; e-signatures and digital signatures have different functions. The majority of the time, an electronic signature is protected by industry standards for business.

It provides basic security features that ensure that the document that is signed and its signatures are well protected through authentication of identity, OTP, and an audit trail. To gain access to a certain degree of security, typically using the term "identify authentication," digital certificates are implemented as an additional layer to the electronic signature. It is an authentic digital signature.

Standard uses: Different variations in security and purpose have resulted in digital and electronic signatures being used in distinct methods and particular contexts. In particular, the electronic signature is acceptable for documents such as contracts for business where the conditions have been outlined and signers have expressed that they intend to accept the electronic signature form. In this scenario, the electronic signature is a legally binding agreement.

Digital signatures, on the other hand, provide an additional layer of identity verification by using the digital certificate issued by a CA. This assures you that your signature as well as the digital certificate are valid and verified.

Regulation: Certain national laws and regulations are typically used to create an electronic signature to verify them. Nowadays, however, several laws and regulations require digital signatures instead. This is due to the authenticity and trustworthiness of digital signatures, and CA is certain to be challenged in court.

Are Electronic and Digital Signatures Legally Binding?

With the increasing acceptance and widespread use of electronic signatures nowadays, companies that are using these signatures must be aware that their signatures are legal. You can be assured that any signature made on an electronic document will be granted the same legal rights as a traditional signature. Electronic signatures aren't just reliable; they are also legal and legally binding in many countries across the globe today.

For an electronic signature to be regarded as binding The most important thing is usually evidence that the signer is willing to perform or sign the contract. It is said to be accomplished by a signer who does something affirmative by applying their signature to an electronic document.

The E-Sign Act and UETA

In the United States, the two major pieces of legislation that govern electronic signatures are the U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). The regulations have confirmed that electronic signatures and records are given the same legal value as paper documents as a traditional signature, making it easier to use electronic signatures and records for electronic commerce.


Electronic signatures in the EU are mainly subject to Regulation (EU) Nr. 910/2014, commonly referred to informally as EIDAS. Created to verify the authenticity of the signer and the authenticity of electronic documents The eIDAS created an environment for ensuring that digital communications are more efficient, faster, and safer, whatever the European country from which the principal parties sign.

With more than 60 nations that have created specific laws and standards for electronic signatures and digital transactions, there are many other significant laws that affect electronic signatures around the world:

United Kingdom: Electronic Communications Act of 2000 (ECA)

Canada: Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

Australia: Electronic Transactions Act of 1999 (ETA) and the Electronic Transactions Regulations 2000 (ETR).

India: Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act)

Although regulations ensure a legally binding outcome, E-signature compliance can become complicated to manage. Therefore, companies that require frequent document signing are increasingly embracing effective e-signature tools to speed up the process.

Considering an E-Signature Solution for a Simplified Process

The primary distinction between digital and electronic signatures is the degree of security they offer. Since they're more secure, digital signatures are usually the most appropriate choice for businesses across all industries. If you are looking to streamline your document signing procedure, extensive workflow and e-signature solutions such as DottedSign can allow your employees to use digitally certified e-signatures quickly.

Created for teams of all sizes, this savvy solution is easy to adopt for companies:

Secure electronic signatures quickly and effortlessly.

Keep track of documents in real time.

Automate document delivery.

Manage signature tasks.

Personalize your branding for your organization.

Enhance productivity and streamline business workflows.

You can guarantee a legally binding and secure document signing process that is legally binding and secure.

With the help of valuable integrations, a secure process, an extensive audit trail, and advanced security that can be used across all devices, users and companies can enjoy an easy, secure process. Find out more about our comprehensive electronic signature system, and register for a free account to start today.


What's the purpose of electronic signatures?

When you use the electronic signature, you'll be able to cut out the need for printing, scanning, and mailing of papers. Electronic signatures make life much easier and are an efficient method of verifying the identity of the signer. Electronic signatures are commonly utilized in PDF documents like contracts or purchase orders.

Which is better? Is it a signature rather than a digital one?

The main point is that a digital signature is more secure than a photo of a signature that is electronically applied, and there are many advantages to using an electronic signature solution for your company. The method of implementation will differ based on your company's industry and the use of the case.

If you are looking for a mobile app development company, then there is no better choice than PerfectionGeeks Technologies.

What are the three primary reasons for the digital signature?

Digital signatures help achieve three key goals in information security: integrity, authenticity, and non-repudiation.

What exactly is a Type 3 digital signature?

The most secure category of certificates is this one, which includes digital certificates. Digital signature certificates of Class 3 are employed in cases of security. For online transactions and e-commerce, in which massive amounts of money or large amounts of personal information are concerned, it is the most commonly used.

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