Technology has made it significantly easier to sign legally binding documents wherever we are andwhen we need them. Wills, deeds of sale, mortgage agreements— any certified document can be signed between parties with a few taps on a digital device. We no longer have to wait for physical documents in the mail, sign them, and then send them back. But how secure are e-signatures? Are they at risk of forgery? In this article, we’ll answer all the questions you may have about e-signatures and how difficult they are to trace.
How do e-Signatures work?
E-signature providers like Countersign follow a very specific PKI protocol. It uses an algorithm that creates two separate keys. This sequence of long numbers is known as private and public keys. Private keys are used to create your signature. The math is quite elegant since the data created will follow your signature to ensure security. It warrants that the signer alone has access to their private key, thus minimizing the risk of forgery.
Once changes are made to your signature, the algorithm automatically creates different private and public keys. So if someone were to use a different signature or make changes to your existing document, the public key they have wouldn’t be able to decipher the original encryption.
How secure are e-signatures?
E-signatures are generally considered much more secure compared to hand-signed documents. Unlike physical documents, e-signatures require you to verify your identity. They require third-party applications to verify your identity by requesting two-factor verifications or even physical identification. This process is called strong electronic identification— it makes it much more difficult to access and forge your signature.
How difficult are e-signatures to trace?
E-signatures leave a digital trail that all lead back to whoever holds the private key. Third-party providers typically authenticate data before signing documents to ensure security at every point of transaction. This means that all data, information and changes— from the beginning until the end— are stored, and each key can be tied to the entire document. In simpler terms, every document that gets signed with an e-signature can be traced back to you.
The PKI system makes it virtually impossible for random strangers to peek through signed documents without permission, since they’ll need access to public keys beforehand. It thus makes your e-signatures completely secure.
Choosing the right e-signature provider
When signing documents online, it’s important to make sure you use an online e-signature service that is trusted and follows strict protocols. Before choosing a solution, there are a few factors to consider:
The best e-signature solution should walk you through every step of the signing process, so you never feel confused. It’s important to ensure that your provider has your best interests at heart and does not provide subpar service. One of the ways providers show transparency is by detailing all the steps taken during the document signing process.
E-signature providers are expected to abide by laws that govern e-signatures. Such steps are needed to ensure the legality of your signed documents. It also protects you in the event that one party raises a dispute.
This is also why it’s important to make sure there is a visible log of all actions taken when a document is being electronically signed. To make sure each action you take is properly recorded, audit trails are used. Consider it a red flag when a provider doesn’t store audit trails in the process.
E-signatures are a convenient and efficient alternative to wet signatures. And above all, they are easy to trace and secure against unauthorized access.
Our e-signature service focuses on providing excellent customer support and transparency. We value your time and make sure that your transactions are completely secure and accounted for.