Digital signature is the term used for marking or signing an electronic document, by a process meant to be analogous to paper signatures. Additional security properties are required of signatures in the electronic world. Digital signatures address both of these concerns, and offer far more inherent security than paper signatures. Compared to all other forms of signatures, digital signatures are by far the most easily verified and the most reliable with respect to providing document integrity. Digital Signatures come in the form of a USB E-Token, wherein the Digital Signature Certificate is stored in a USB Drive and can be accessed through a computer to sign document.
There are three types of Digital Signatures:
- Class I - Digital Signatures are only used for securing email communication.
- Class II - Digital Signatures are used for Company or LLP Incorporation, IT Return E-Filing, Obtaining DIN or DPIN, and filing other forms with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Income Tax Department.
- Class III - Digital Signatures are used mainly for E-Tendering and for participating in E-Auctions.
- Easy-to-use digital signatures – A simple right click is all that you need in order to sign and seal your documents.
- Signatures for any document type – You can work with Consign using all the major content authoring applications and file formats: MS Word, Excel, Outlook, InfoPath, Adobe PDF, AutoCAD, Bentley Micro Station, TIFF, and many document types.
- Globally trusted signatures – 100% based on international standards that can be validated by anyone, anywhere, at any time by using widely available software such as MS Office and Adobe Reader.
- Long-term proof of signature – The signatures, as well as the signer’s identity and intent, are embedded into the document, the integrity of which is ensured for deniability purposes.
- Creation of digitally signed PDFs – You can convert any document into a signed PDF using the integrated virtual signing feature. See how Co-sign convert any document into a signed PDF.
Advantages of using Digital Signature:
- Speed: Businesses no longer have to wait for paper documents to be sent by courier. Contracts are easily written, completed, and signed by all concerned parties in a little amount of time no matter how far the parties are geographically.
- Costs: Using postal or courier services for paper documents is much more expensive compared to using digital signatures on electronic documents.
- Security: The use of digital signatures and electronic documents reduces risks of documents being intercepted, read, destroyed, or altered while in transit.
- Authenticity: An electronic document signed with a digital signature can stand up in court just as well as any other signed paper document.
- Non-Repudiation: Signing an electronic document digitally identifies you as the signatory and that cannot be later denied.
- Imposter prevention: No one else can forge your digital signature or submit an electronic document falsely claiming it was signed by you.
- Time-Stamp: By time-stamping your digital signatures, you will clearly know when the document was signed.