Electronic signature and Digital signature are the terms that are most of the times used interchangeably, but they are altogether different in their meanings and application. Let's See How:
An electronic signature is a method to represent signature on a document that is computerized. Electronic signature is a terminology used to refer multiple different ways to capture a signature either on a document or a device. One of the ways is to use either a tablet or a mobile app to record a handwritten signature's image. Another way can be typing name into the signature box.
A digital signature that is much more as in comparison to electronic sign gets permanently linked using encryption with the content of the digital document.
Being unique to an individual, Digital certificate is required in case of digitally signing a document. The certificate has public and private key called a 'key pair'.
In case if anyone gives it a try to alter anything about the document content with which digital certificate is effectively 'Wrapped-up', the signature will also get changed. It effectively nullifies the signature and indicates that tampering has been done with the document.
The table below is highlighting some of the major differences between digital and electronic signatures:
|Digital Signature||Electronic Signature|
|In case of digital signatures online, if any change is done in the document after the signature is applied, it will refer the signature as invalid signature.||Alterations can easily take place in case of electronic signature.|
|Encryption done by using a digital certificate is very secure.||Electronic signatures as not based on standards are inclined towards using methods based on proprietary aspects so are comparatively less secure.|
|As a digital signature online is linked with the private key of an individual, it is unique and hard to deny.||Verification of electronic signatures is comparatively tough.|
|As Digital signatures are without fail time stamped hence are useful in a court of law to link a person to signature at a particular time and date.||Although a date and time is associated with the electronic signature but as separately held, open to misuse.|
|Holding a log of multiple events, digital signature can verify when any signature was applied. Advanced digital signature products such as Approveme, send out notifications in case if a log is altered.||Audit logs are not applied in an easy way to electronic signatures.|
|The digital certificates represent individual signatories by giving details of the individual signing the document. To say full name, email address and company.||Details of an individual placing an electronic signature are not held with the signature itself therefore are more prone to get tampered.|
Though the terms digital signature and electronic signature are usually used interchangeably, but there is a major difference in between them. Although their purpose of authenticating a digital document overlaps, still digital signatures are used on a wide scale and are safer as in comparison electronic signatures.