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10 Differences Between Digital Signature & Electronic Signature

When we think of the word signature, we visualize the unique way we write our names to authenticate documents of various types. These signatures are called physical signatures and they are different from the online signature. The online signatures are done “online”. Hence, you don’t need any physical means to put the signature.

There are two types of online signatures – digital signature and electronic signature.
While they are different, some people use the terms “digital signature” and “electronic signature” interchangeably. Actually, the digital signature is also a type of electronic signature, but they are totally different.

Here, we share the primary differences between Electronic Signatures and Digital signatures. So, you can take a thorough read and keep the confusion at bay.

What is a Digital Signature?

Digital Signature is the digital form of the physical signature, the only difference being that the digital signature is issued by an authority. It is more secure than a traditional electronic signature and is also linked with the digital signature certificates that you must have heard about.
When a digital signature is used to sign a document, the “fingerprint” of the document is linked to your identity that is unique. Now, this information is embedded permanently into the document and this document will show if any unauthorized attempt is made to use it. So, if some imposter tries to tamper with the document once you have signed it, it will be visible to you.

Digital Signature Offers:

  • Tamper evidence
  • Independent verification
  • Strict adherence to industry standards

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As all the information is available in the document itself, you don’t have to consult the vendor to verify the signature’s security. Because of this characteristic, you can switch vendors as and when required without much ado. What makes the digital signature even better is the fact that they are acceptable across the world as they are compliant with security standards

What is an Electronic Signature?

The electronic signature is another online signature as it is easy to use. You can sign the documents with a single click of the mouse, or by using the pointing device of the device you are using. For example, you can use your finger to trace the handwritten signature on any document that is to be signed.

However, they are not as strictly regulated as the digital signatures and every vendor has its terms and standards to maintain security and authenticity. Also, as there is no global and singular management you have to consider the vendor word absolute and the trust factor is implied.

While the electronic signature doesn’t come with the secure coding as that of the digital signature, various technological tools are used to authenticate the person and timestamp the documents. So, there is no way to tell if someone has tampered with the document or not.
Further, when you wish to change the vendor, you have to lose the signatures stored on the server of the previous vendor.

Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature

Electronic SignatureDigital signature
It is a legally binding, secure, and digital form of a wet ink signature.It is a secured signature that is an electronic fingerprint of your physical signature.
It can be in various forms – symbols, images, and even processes attached to the message or document.It is an encrypted electronic fingerprint.
It is used for document verification.It is used for document security.
No such comprehensive validation is there.Validates by certificate authorities and service providers.
It is vulnerable to tampering.It is not vulnerable to tampering.
It is usually not authorized.This signature is authorized.
It cannot be verified.The signature can be verified.
Fewer security features are there.It comes with enhanced security features.
Common types: Verbal, electronic ticks or scanned signatures.Common types: Adobe and Microsoft.
No coding or standards are involved.Digital signature has proper encryption standards.

Hence, the terms digital signature and electronic signature are different. If you are looking for a more secure and verifiable form of online signature, then you must opt for the digital signature that can be verified, and don’t even require you to leave the signature on the server of a vendor you are leaving. On the other hand, if you are looking for a signature that is easy to use and you don’t have to change the vendor ever, then you can opt for the electronic signature.

However, if you are looking for a signature that you can use without any hitch and concern about security, validity and confidentiality, you must opt for the digital signature. For more information and for getting the digital signature or electronic signature UAE, book a demo with Docusign.

We hope all our readers find this information helpful, and can resolve their doubts about digital signatures and the electronic signature.

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