Going digital has never been better or simpler. Signing official documents used to take hours of work and mind-numbing edits back and forth. You don’t have to waste time transferring printed documents and tracking changes anymore.
Now within a few minutes, you can create your own electronic signature. It’s not only convenient but it’s also secure.
Today, the old John Hancock has been replaced by electronic signatures. Learn how to create an electronic signature for yourself here!
What is an Electronic Signature?
When signing official documents via a digital tablet, computer or mobile phone you are required to use an electronic or e-signature. This is a legal way for you to provide your consent or approval on electronic forms.
Digital signatures are also electronic signatures, however, they require stricter authentication to be used. In today’s modern world, the electronic signature is an acceptable and legal replacement for handwritten signatures.
How to Create an Electronic Signature
When you are ready to sign an electronic document or form, it will most likely prompt you for an electric signature.
Be sure to review the form thoroughly before agreeing to sign.
Once you are ready to electronically sign the document you could be prompted to electronically sign a digital copy in a number of ways. You may need to first prove your identity or login to sign.
In some cases, you will draw your signature using your finger or a stylus. This is possible if you have access to a touchscreen. When using a touchscreen mobile device or tablet, this is especially easy.
There’s also the option that you may upload an image of your signature. This can be done by taking a picture of your signature on a piece of paper using your phone or another camera.
A signature may also be drawn by simply using your computer’s cursor or typing your signature using a keyboard. This is the easiest way to provide your signature.
These documents are typically sent via email so that only you will have access to them. In some cases, you will need to log into a portal to view the document which is another way your signature remains secure.
Are E-Signatures Legally Binding?
Yes, many businesses use e-signatures on their legal documents and this form of consent is federally protected by the ESIGN Act of 2000. The UETA Act also protects e-signatures on a statewide basis. They are also recognized internationally through various acts and legislations.
E-signatures are widely accepted as a form of agreement. Be sure you know what you are signing as well as who you have received the documents from before electronically signing any documents.
Is E-Signatures Safe?
As long as you are working with a verified and secure e-signature provider, you can rest assured that your e-signature will be safe. However, the term e-signature is typically used to simply describe an image of your signature overlaid on top of a document.
A digital signature describes one that is cryptographically secure. This means it will first verify a person using a method such as a private signing key before allowing the document to be signed. The provider may also require an email authentication prior to you being allowed to sign the document.
This further ensures that the signer is who they say they are. In the case of digital signatures, which are far more secure, other encryption methods should be used such as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) in order to ensure that the document is protected.
Ultimately, an electronic signature is relatively as secure as, if not more than, printing a piece of paper, signing it, and faxing it back. Since this is something anyone could do without first proving their identity.
How Are E-Signatures Better?
There are multiple ways that e-signatures and digital signatures have made our lives easier. Businesses no longer have to print piles of paper wasting ink and time to then fax them back.
You also can quickly sign multiple pages worth of documents at once. Rather than having to go through each one and recreate your signature. Usually, once you have identified yourself and chosen your e-signature, the document will recreate it for you with the click of a button.
There are many providers that offer easy methods for creating documents and e-signatures. One commonly used document program is an Adobe PDF.
Add Your E-Signature to a PDF
If you are using a PDF, it’s easy to add your electronic signature by first clicking the “Fill & Sign” button in the right pane.
Next, click the “Sign” button on the toolbar and select “Add Signature.” From here, you can create a signature in one of three ways. You can either type your name and have it converted to a signature. Or you may draw your signature using your mouse or touch screen.
If you already have an image of your signature that you’ve scanned from a piece of paper or took a picture of, then you can use this as well. Using a PDF is one of the less secure methods of signing a document, so be careful of what you are signing and who you are sending it to.
Once you’ve created a signature using one of the above methods, you will click “Apply” to add it to the document. The PDF will save this signature if you leave the checkbox checked. This will allow you to reuse the same signature on other documents.
Need E-Signatures for Your Business?
Are you in need of providing professional documents for legal e-signatures? When it comes to sending and receiving official forms with the appropriate consent, you don’t want to cut corners.
Now that you know how to create an electronic signature, it’s time to integrate this convenient service into your business plan. Make life easier for your employees and clients with a simple yet secure method of transferring documents.
Check out eSign Genie’s free trial and ditch the paper trail today!