January ’15 – Electronic signature or digital signature?

 There’s a lot of discussion at the moment about electronic signature, and its acceptability in a wide range of certification and funding scenarios. However, there is also an awful lot of confusion about what electronic signature actually is, and how it differs from digital signature.

Electronic signature is in fact nothing more than a facsimile of an ink signature. Whether created on-screen or by scanning a real signature, electronic signatures are a means of attaching a facsimile signature to a document.

By their nature, electronic signatures are particularly weak – how easy is it for a waiter to obtain a copy of your signature, for instance? Accordingly, they are in many cases not deemed to be valid for legal purposes.

A digital signature, however, is quite different. These use typically two components to create an electronic ‘fingerprint’. A good example is a bank card’s chip and PIN – the PIN is known exclusively to the card owner and so the bank is comfortable authorising substantial transactions for the holder of both the chip and the PIN. 

VQManager also employs the use of digital signature – once a user has logged into VQManager using their unique username and password, every interaction they subsequently make during their session effectively has a digital signature attached to it.

So when the topic of electronic signature next crops up, perhaps it’s worth checking that everyone really understands the difference between electronic and digital signatures. VQManager’s use of digital signature is designed to offer you the very best authentication possible. 

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