What is an electronic signature? An electronic signature, also called digital signature, refers to information in electronic format, which is digitally associated with other information in electronic format and that is used by the sender to sign on the signature. Today, it has become almost inevitable for us to carry our bank cards and other proofs of income with us wherever we go. This has further increased the use of signatures as a security mechanism in different forms of online transactions. It is useful in situations where we want to ensure the integrity of the other party and do not want any third party to have access to our sensitive information. As such, we can now safely put our passwords and other sensitive information into the secure area of our computers and leave the rest of the computer for someone else to do.
Electronic signatures have grown out of the field of cryptography, where a known secret key is associated with an alphanumeric code. Once this code is typed on a piece of paper or on a smart card, it is associated with that digital signature and the fact that you know the pin number, which allows you to unlock the safe. A firma digital signature is considered to be more secure than a key known by an individual. However, the digital signature is not linked to a physical address or physical location where the document becomes physically present.
There are different ways by which electronic signatures can be created. In some cases, you might use a pre-determined format for signing. These pre-determined formats are widely used in various fields including healthcare. The healthcare industry uses smart cards or keycards for carrying prescriptions, which have to be signed on the spot by a pharmacist before the medicine is given to the customer. The same system is adopted in other areas like the financial industry, which uses pre-recorded signatures on cheques and business cards.
The electronic forms that are widely used in these fields are known as ‘HSM’, ‘HSM-E’, and ‘HMAC’. It is very easy to create electronic signatures as you can do so with a click of the mouse. This also saves time for an organization as they need not hire a new employee for creating digital signatures for them. The firma electrónica service is also used in the domain of trust services and hence, many organizations are now opting for electronic forms of signature for their employees.
There are some concerns related to electronic signature and its use in trust services. The first is about the authenticity of the electronic signature. In this case, if the document that has been created by the user with the help of the smart signature software is later on found to be fraudulent, the whole transaction would be nullified. It is because of this concern that various institutions are now opting for digital signatures instead of hard copies of documents. It is also essential that the user knows what a digital signature does and how a signature is generated and controlled.
Many people who sign different kinds of documents are known as ‘signatories’ and there are different ways in which they generate their signatures. An individual who signs his name electronically may be known as a ‘signature’, whereas someone who signs a document using a pencil is called a ‘verifier’. These two kinds of signatures are completely different from one another and cannot be compared. To conclude, electronic signature has become an important part of the world of business and is seen everywhere – from corporate documents to legal ones. To get a detailed overview of this topic, see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_signature.