An e-signature can be best described as a digital file or symbol.
The signature can be in the form of a scanned pen and ink signature or even a typed name. The sign is usually attached to or placed on a contract or a file to show the person had the intent to sign the contract or file. Different people have different ways of making electronic signatures, but it depends on the eSignatures legal department of the state you will be dealing with. For instance, some may do it by typing the signer's name into the signature area, pasting a scanned version of the signer's signature, using cryptographic scrambling technology or even by clicking on the “I accept” button.
For any legal eSign, it would be important to note that some methods are more secure than others, but even the unreliable methods are considered part of them. Some of the commonly known insecure signatures include; typing the signer's name into the signature area or using a scan of the signer's pen and ink signature. Though the formats are considered legally abiding they are not a real confirmation that the person who placed the make was the originally intended to sign the document.
Despite the allegation that there can be some insecure signatures, digital signatures have always been more sophisticated. Everything has taken a digital shape, and this is, therefore, the digital way to complete the authentication process as the signer. To make the signatures more secure, they are always bound to the document through the use of encryption. There have been many claims that the process can be difficult to complete, but to the contrary, creating an electronic digital signature is usually a simple process. Many available software programs can help you complete the process simple and affordable, including HelloSign, Esignly, DocuSign, Adobe, SignNow, among others.
Requirements for e-signature and e-contract
Requirements between states might be different, but according to electronic signature legal services, individuals and businesses must have some certain measures to make valid signatures. Before getting someone overseas to sign a non-disclosure agreement, it is important to check and be conversant with these laws for additional or different requirements.
- Obtaining consent from signers. To make an e-signature, one must to affirmatively have consented to the e-contract or e-signing. In most of the cases, this process is usually completed by agreeing through an email or by electronically signing through an emailed contract. In some cases, the law might also require one to complete an explicit agreement to conduct the business electronically.
- Having full knowledge of what the signers signature means. Before completing a legal e-sign process, signers are required to receive a clear indication that they agree to the terms and conditions of the document they want to sign. It must be clear to them they are not just signing to indicate they merely reviewed or received the document, but they understand what the contract involves.
- Offering signers with other options. There are many situations where e-signatures are made unnecessary. In this case, some businesses and consumers may need to use other documents such as papers through the process. It is in this case that most of the e-signature laws require anyone who would wish to use paper rather than e-contracts to be allowed the option.
- Signers have the right to withdraw consent. In this case, signers need to be informed that they have the right to withdraw their consent to use e-signatures or e-contracts at any time. They also have the right to be explained the procedure for withdrawing consent.
- Keep copies of documents. The party creating the agreement is supposed to keep a record of the signing process. In this case, they need to keep the electronic or paper copies of the signed documents and also provide copies to the other party or let them know how to get the prints.
Though a legal e-sign may be a simple process to some people, it may be troublesome to others mainly if you have never done it before or you want to get someone else to do it for you. In this case, to ensure that each process you carry out has fully complied to the needs of the e-sign laws it is advisable always to consult a qualified attorney who can help in reviewing your electronic practices and disclosure.
Security and privacy of a legal e-sign process
As mentioned earlier in this article, not all e-sign procedures are reliable. This explains the need for security measures to ensure legitimacy through the process, thus preventing fraud. Many programs can be used to complete e-sign processes, but it is always advisable to pick a trusted software for the process. With a trusted software, such as Esignly, there will be several authentication processes that will be used in the bid to make ascertain the signer is who they say they are. For a guarantee in the security over an eSignature for a legal agreement pick program that will allow multiple forms of authentication. One of such commonly known and reliable authentication processes have been implementing a digital signature along with the electronic one.
Digital signatures are in most of the cases used to prevent tampering, but audit trials can be sued to confirm the legitimacy of a document. Some of the commonly used audit trials include logos embedded in the papers, information on who signed, when, where, and in what order.
Digital signatures are usually time savers. They have been approved by the law, but one must follow the requirements and guidelines for correct usage. It is possible to get someone to make an e-signature for you, but you should always remember document and e-signature are always at the heart of any electronically signed contract of a document. More to this, you need always to remember that the requirements for an e-signature usually vary from state to state. In this case, you must be sure to adhere to the requirements of the eSignatures legal department of the country you will be completing your legal agreement from.