Electronic Signature and Digital Signature: The Difference

Although they are often interchangeable, electronic signatures and digital signatures are not the exact same thing.

Did you know that there is a difference between electronic and digital signatures?

The main difference between them is that the electronic signature is often linked to a contract where the signer wants to do so. Below is more information about the differences between the two.

Digital signature and electronic signature can often be interchanged. Many people mistakenly believe that the meanings of these terms are identical. However, these options are not interchangeable. For a long time, businesses have used a variety of electronic communication technology to verify digital identities and secure their network connections. This industry has seen a lot of business transformation thanks to electronic signatures and digital signatures. Increasing concerns about digital transaction authentication, validation trust, recognition, and security are limiting the digital transformation of companies.

No company can afford to be left behind as the corporate world changes at an alarming rate. There have been many technological advancements that have made a difference in the lives of businesses around the globe, including integrated communications, customer relationship management systems, and social media marketing. Since the beginning of time, personal signatures have been an integral part of human identification. They are used by almost everyone on a daily basis to sign important documents.

Signatures were not important before the State of Fraud Act, which was passed in the English Parliament in 1677. The past is gone. You can print documents, sign them personally, scan them and return them. In offices around the world, wet signatures are now the norm. This process, as with everything else, has become digital. Due to confusion among consumers, who despite growing knowledge of technology, still believe an electronic and digital signature are one and the same, it is necessary to clarify these terms.

Electronic signatures used to be a high-end corporate expense, but are now widely used all over the globe. Digital signatures are electronic signatures. They have not received much attention. It could be because very few people know the difference between these two words. Many people assume that electronic signatures and digital signatures can be interchangeable, so they use these terms interchangeably. The meanings of these terms are different. Electronic signatures are gradually replacing traditional methods of signing and verifying documents in today's hyperconnected world.

Many people mistakenly think that electronic signatures are digital signatures. In reality, digital signatures are very secure methods of implementing electronic signatures. Although they look similar to electronic signatures, a digital signature is not. Digital signatures are more secure and less likely to be altered because they encrypt the document and embed the information permanently. The digital signature will be invalidated if a user attempts modification to the document. An electronic signature is, however, comparable to a digital signature. It has been validated using the signer's identification such as email, corporate ID, or telephone PIN. An electronic signature doesn't have to be a signed document. It could be a sound or symbol that is linked to a contract. They are more comprehensive than digital signatures and can be used to cover all online signatures. Signatures that include a message had a long history of being used to identify intent and identity with respect to specific communication. Their primary function was to prove ownership. For many years, people have used a variety of signatures to link their purpose and identity with messages. You can use handwritten signatures, stamps, or wax prints. These old methods can be easily copied. Digitalization has forced the use of digital signatures to sign digital documents.

What's a Digital Signature?

Digital signatures are technological implementations of electronic signatures that use cryptographic methods. It refers to the coded/decoded method on which electronic signatures such as the advanced one rely. A digital signature refers to a series of characters that are added to the end or body of a document to verify or prove the legitimacy or security of the message or document. These characters are used to identify the sender of the communication and confirm that it has not been altered.

It is an electronic signature used to verify the identity and authority of the signer. It ensures that the message and document are authentic. Digital signatures are portable and can be copied easily. Digital signatures also ensure that material sent through signed documents cannot be denied by the sender.

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The digital signature is a method of encoding documents with encryption and other security methods to prevent tampering. This is done using a computerized process called an algorithm. A digital signature prevents anyone from accessing documents that are not authorized by the receiver. A digital signature is used to identify the authorized signer of a document. It acts as a "fingerprint" for transactions and ensures that the document is valid. Digital signatures work in the same way as document locks. This requires the presence of an official certificate from an institution or organization that confirms the performer’s signature and identity.

What is a Digital Signature?

Digital signatures are used to prove that a document or communication has not been altered after it was signed. Digital signatures create a unique hash of the message/document and then encrypt it with the sender's key. Digital signatures use a combination of public and private keys to confirm electronic signature validity and match public and private keys.

Providers of digital signature solutions must generally meet a set criteria called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). This article outlines the requirements for electronic signature technology implementation in businesses. Digital signatures use a standard format called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to ensure maximum security and universal acceptance. These are the signature technology implementations for electronic signatures (eSignature). Two sets of long integers must be generated by an algorithm for a provider. They are a private key (or public key) and a public one (or both). The private key encrypts the document, and ensures that contacts are hidden from others. The public key validates that a match has been made with a private key before decrypting a document.

Digital signatures can be used in the same way as handwritten signatures. They are unique for each signer. Digital signature service providers must adhere to PKI, as previously mentioned. PKI requires that providers use a mathematical method to generate two long numbers called keys. The public key is the one that is available, and the private key is reserved for personal use. Signers electronically sign documents using their private keys. The signer keeps the key safe. The mathematical algorithm encrypts data by matching the signature on the document. This is known as a "hash" and it generates data to match. As a result, the encrypted data creates a digital signature. The digital signature also includes the date and time that the paper was signed. The digital signature will be invalid if the document is changed after signing.

Steps to Implement a Digital Signature Scheme

  • Step 1 Key Generation: This phase calculates the user's public and private keys.
  • Step 2:Signature: The user signs this communication using his private key.
  • Step 3:Verification: In this phase, the signature of a message sent with the public key will be validated.

Digital Signature Protection and Creation:

Hash Function

A hash function is a unique combination of numbers and characters that was created using an algorithm used by electronic signature software. Because they are one-way, hash functions cannot be reversed to find other files with the same data.

Key Cryptology :

A cryptographic procedure is used to generate the public and private keys that are associated with a document.

Public Key Infrastructure, (PKI),:

PKI is a set of standards, rules, and people that allow the distribution of public key and validation of identities using digital certificates and certificate authorities.

Certificate Authority:

An impartial third party who can verify the identity of signers. They can generate a public/private pair for someone else or connect an individual’s current public key. A CA issues a digital certificate signed by the CA after verifying an individual's identity. These data can then be used for validating the identity of someone associated with a public key.

Digital Signature

  • Encrypted, digitally signed, and password-protected email sending and receipt
  • Safe internet transactions
  • To identify all parties to an online transaction
  • Electronic filing of Income Tax Reports, tender requests, and electronic filing with the Business Registry are some examples of relevant applications.
  • Validate and sign documents in Word, Excel and PDF formats.

Why would you use a digital signature?

An eSignature platform's most important feature is digital signatures. They can be used to verify the legality and drive security. Digital signatures are used to secure electronic signatures from the moment they are signed. Digital signatures increase transparency in online transactions between vendors, consumers, and organizations. Digital signatures also include a watermark, which monitors electronic signature changes. It can also be used to verify an online transaction has been completed and seal a file once the appropriate electronic signature is obtained.

Integrity can be a vulnerable factor in the digital world. There are many tools and ways to modify electronic documents.

How do you create a digital signature?

The procedure is determined by the software that was used to add a digital signature. For example, when adding a signature line in a Word or Excel file, users can embed/choose a menu option that allows them to enter unique information. The process works the same when customers use software from a digital transaction management business (DTM), which acts as a certificate authority for digital certificates. Each recipient of the document can choose from the digital signature menu. Digital signatures do not replace putting an electronic signature on records.

Digital certificates can be issued by companies that are also self-signed. The validity of the digital certificate will not be verified by receivers. The receivers will be able to decide whether or not to accept the digital signature and issue an electronic sign. If a contract or any other agreement is challenged in court, a self-signed digital signature could cause problems. Businesses choose to use eSignature solutions offered by DTM firms to incorporate digital signatures quickly into documents.

A digital signatory is legal, but not legal in itself. Its purpose is to encrypt data in a document to increase security.

What's an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature refers to a piece that is related to other pieces of data. It is used to confirm that a signer meant to sign a document and to ensure that the document was not altered after the signature was added. An electronic signature can be argued to be a legal concept whose purpose is to confirm the will of the signer. It records the process of a person proving their intention during an electronic transaction. Electronic signature can be captured on paper or via a device in a number of ways. To take a photo of a handwritten signature, you can use a tablet and smartphone app. Consider delivery notes.

Electronic signatures use technology that links the signature to the signer's identity as well as the date it was signed. An electronic signature can be a procedure attachment, electronic symbol or sound. It is used to obtain consent or approval for electronic papers and forms. Electronic signatures are a significant improvement on handwritten signatures in almost all corporate and personal operations.

Two essential components of an electronic signature are

(I) The intent of the signer to sign the document, i.e. The document is recorded. (iii) All information in the record or document is correct.

It uses standard electronic authentication methods to verify the signer's identity. These include email and business identification. To increase security, multi-factor authentication is also possible. Secure electronic signature systems that are efficient provide evidence of signing through a secure process of audit trails. These audit trails are also included in the final document.

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The Primary Differences Between Digital Signatures and Electronic Signature

Although they can be interchangeable, the terms digital signature and electronic signature are often used interchangeably. It is often misunderstood what the difference between digital and electronic signatures is. Particularly, electronic signatures can be used to sign all types of signatures. Digital signatures however, are linked to genuine signatures.

  • A digital signature can be used to protect a document while an electronic signature can be used to verify it.
  • There are two types of digital firms: Adobe pdf and Microsoft. It is built on top a document processing platform. There are four types: click-to-sign electronic Signatures, basic electronic Signatures, advanced electronic Signatures, certified electronic Signatures and click-to-sign Electronic Signings.
  • Digital signatures are governed by the certificate authority. Several national regulations and rules apply to electronic signatures.
  • The authority of a government certification source or non-governmental certification source can also approve a digital signature. The relevant providers, document creators or parties involved in the electronic signature approval process.
  • A digital signature serves one primary purpose: to secure the document. An electronic signature can be used to verify the document.
  • Digital signatures are more secure because they include additional security measures. An electronic signature has fewer security features, so it is less secure.
  • An electronic signature can be defined as a broad statement that is used to sign electronic data. A digital signature is a cryptographic signature that relies on a public key.
  • A digital signature can be used to obtain the details of the signer because it is linked with the signature. Although an electronic signature doesn't save signer's data it can be stored separately from the signature. A timestamp allows you to verify the consistency of a collection of data. It proves that the data was valid at a particular time and has not changed since then. The electronic signature's integrity is ensured by the timestamp. [Image courtesy digistamp]
  • Digital signatures often include audit data that helps in tracking changes to documents. Audit trails can be difficult to use with electronic signatures.
  • Digital signatures are more reliable because they are more secure and can't be altered. Electronic signatures are less trustworthy because they can be altered and are less secure.
  • Digital signatures conform to industry standards, while increasing security by using cryptographic encryption techniques. Electronic signatures are less secure because they are not based upon standards.
  • The authentication method for electronic signatures is not specified. It uses the signer's phone number, email address, and PIN. Digital signatures, however, use certificate-based digital authentication and identification mechanisms.
  • Digital signatures protect the security of digital documents, while electronic signatures are used to validate digital documents.
  • First, a digital signature can be defined as a combination of cryptographic protocols. However, electronic signatures are inherently legal because they impose a regulatory framework on signatures that confers legal legitimacy.
  • Another distinction is their context. Electronic signatures are used to sign electronic documents the signer wants to sign. The digital signature is used by certifying bodies to protect paper and is used instead.
  • The digital signature prevents identity theft. It allows authentication and identification in many types of procedures, including financial and administrative ones.
  • Electronic signatures are proof that the signer has agreed to the terms of the agreement electronically. You can use electronic signatures to sign an agreement by entering your name into an email, signing your name electronically on a touchscreen device or checking a box for a streaming subscription. Electronic signatures are proof that the signer has agreed to the terms of the agreement electronically. You can use electronic signatures to sign an agreement electronically. Examples include entering your PIN at an ATM or typing your name into an email.
  • Platforms such as eSignature software produce digital signatures by using a mathematical algorithm that a computer has developed. They verify the authenticity of an electronic signature as well as the identity of the person who signed it.
  • Digital signatures are highly secure and cannot be altered by anyone. However, electronic signatures can be easily manipulated due to their low security level.
  • Digital signatures are used to protect a document from being altered by anyone other than the intended recipient. A digital signature is used to verify a document.
  • Digital signatures cannot be verified. Digital signatures can be verified.
  • Particularly, a digital signature protects a document. A digital signature signifies that the signer intends signing the contract.
  • Although electronic signatures are convenient, they lack validity. A digital signature is preferred over an electronic one due to its high level of validity.
  • The authentication technique for digital signatures is a certificate-based digital identification, but it can also be used by phone PIN or email.
  • The digital signature validation process is carried out by trusted service providers and certificate authorities. It is not possible to validate electronic signatures.

An electronic signature solution that uses digital signature technology can be used to electronically sign documents. This allows you to easily gather electronic evidence of integrity and identity. The greater the likelihood that the signed document will receive legal acceptance, the more evidence you have.


Although they may be confused, electronic signatures and digital signatures can often be confused. Digital signatures are cryptographic "nuts and bolts". An electronic signature can be made from any written word, ticked box or recorded voice. Digital signatures are a method that uses sophisticated mathematics to encrypt and decrypt data. Every document that needs a digital signature must have a unique key. Public key infrastructure (PKI) is used to accomplish this. The Certification Authority is the PKI operator that creates and validates a public key. It is then kept by the owner of the document, who can distribute copies to their customers. A unique key message (private key) is added to the document when the client signs. The software algorithm will detect any attempt to modify the document and make it invalid.

Due to the rise in identity theft, documents must be signed under strict inspection by digital witnesses and in person. Security-conscious companies will have multiple levels of protection in place to ensure that every document is digitally signed.