What Should You Keep In Mind When Adding Your E-Sign Online?
Eastern Eye Staff
A signature is used to identify a person. It signifies the personal involvement of the signatory in a particular matter and ties the person to this matter. It indicates their consent or approval to this matter. An electronic signature is a similar phenomenon, only online. In the digital age with the prominence of electronic signatures increasing, it is important to know how to e-sign online and more importantly, how to e-sign safely.
Where are electronic signatures used?
electronic signatures are used wherever it is that a handwritten signature would be used. It is now being preferred over them because it has several benefits that handwritten signatures do not. The enhanced security of electronic signatures due to their security controls, the ease of access across industries, states, countries and continents, the availability of the documents at any time and place, the ability to implement centralized storing and paperless workflow and save money, all make it a very attractive choice.
There may be many types of electronic signatures, but they are all legally binding. It also helps verify the authenticity of a document as the signatory party’s identity can be easily verified. However, this does not have as much security as a digital signature because the intention behind using an e-signature is not to protect the document but to agree to certain terms and conditions. Unlike digital signatures, they are usually not regulated by the authorities.
Some of the places where using asking people to submit e-sign online makes a considerable difference in the workplace are discussed below:
electronic signatures are used often used by sales teams. As sales teams generally require a lot of clients to sign legally binding contracts, they are often bogged down by mountains of paperwork that require signing by a variety of people.
E-sign online allows a sales team to get these signatures from the convenience of their desk rather than running about to different locations. E-signed documents also do not require printing or scanning, allowing the text to remain machine-readable which makes the sales team’s job much easier as they can simply use software to ensure that the text of the contracts remains unhampered.
Freeing your sales team from manual, repetitive tasks will help to free up their minds as well and they’ll perform much better in the more creative aspects of their jobs.
Being a Human Resources representative is a hard enough job without running behind employees and trying to get them to sign an endless pile of paperwork. With electronic signatures, Human Resources representatives will no longer have to go hunting for employees all over the company’s space.
Instead, they can simply mail them the document and receive the required signature, all at their desk! It also saves both the employees from having to waste valuable time while on the clock. Allowing an employee to esign online increases productivity and happiness in the workplace.
Risks involved with electronic signatures
Although electronic signatures are incredibly convenient, they may also represent certain risks. A few of them are discussed below:
Forgery: This is a concern that exists with electronic signatures as well as traditional paper and ink signatures. A person may forge your signature and use it for their own benefit or commit identity theft. However, electronic signatures can be protected with electronic processes like password protection and two-factor authentication. The same protections cannot be applied to traditional signatures and hence, despite the risks, electronic signatures remain a much better option.
Fraud: This is another concern that is shared by both traditional and digital contracts. A person may edit a document or contract for their own benefit once it is signed. This kind of dishonesty can be warded off by keeping a copy of the contract you signed with you. Ironically, however, digital alteration of documents tends to leave more of a paper trail than traditional documents. Digital contracts are usually a product of several prior conversations held digitally that discuss the terms and conditions of a contract as opposed to more traditional contracts which may have been fleshed out in person. This allows for better protection against fraud. As storage of digital contracts is also much easier, once again, digital documents and electronic signatures seem like a better option in this case as well.
Exclusions: Some documents need to be signed in the presence of independent third person authorities. For example, the signature on a person’s Will must be witnessed by an attorney. In such a case, electronic signatures are invalid. If prior research is not carried out, it may create trouble for the signatory.
Risks involving handwritten signatures:
However, the risks involving handwritten signatures tend to be much greater and much more varied. A few of those are discussed below with the aim of illustrating what the problems are and how they can be fixed through opting to e-sign online.
The risk of someone else signing the document
When using physical documents, the risk of the sign being a forgery is much more acute. Anyone can sign the paper without a verified identity unlike in digital documents. Online documents generally have protocols in place to verify a person’s identity in many ways including one-time-passwords sent to registered email addresses or phone numbers, personal questions and ID verification.
Sensitivity of information
Physical documents exchange a lot of hands before they’re handed off to the signatory. This may put to risk any sensitive information that is contained within them. With the help of end to end encryption, digital documents never face this risk. They are seen and handled only by the people with the authority and discretion to handle them.
Strain on hands
It may sound silly but the risk of injury to a person is not uncommon when a lot of paperwork is done by hand. The option of esign online mitigates his risk as it is possible for a person to simply allow a software such as Signsmpli to do their work for them.