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Electronic Signatures vs. Digital Signatures


Electronic Signatures vs. Digital Signatures

The days of printing documents and signing them using wet ink are slowly fading away. We have been into the practice for long enough until electronic signatures emerged. Some of us still sign using the pen and paper style, but we are always evolving, right?

Having an e-sign or digital signature seems foreign to most people. While it proves to be cost-effective, we still can’t tell if there is a difference between them. There are situations where it’s okay to use an electronic signature.

In others, there is a need for more than just the signature and a few other essentials. We will shed on the significant difference between the two. That way, you will know what to use where and the platform to generate the same.

Part 1: Electronic Signature Defined

If we look at the electronic signature definition, it may not wholly shed light on what we encounter here. The e-signature is referred to as an electronic process, sound or symbol used or logically associated with a record.

It’s execution by an individual means that they have signed the record. To simplify the meaning, you can use a signature that is applied using electronic means instead of wet ink.

You can use an e-sign to confirm the legality of a document and what’s in it. On the other hand, an electronic signature cannot give assurance in specific law applications. In some cases, information is regulated more for security purposes, among other things.

For example, if you are into accounting or health care, a sign only may not be enough. That where a need for a more secure way arises.

Part 2: Digital Signature Definition

There is some sort of similarity when you compare e-signatures to digital signatures. You can use both to sign documents, but there is more to the digital end that makes them different.

There are security concerns that revolve around signing papers using an online platform or application. If we look at the paper-based method of signing, the few issues that came up include the following:

  • Is there a way to verify if the signature is legit or forged? Can the other person claim that he/she signed the paper?
  • What’s the level of assurance that the content has not been altered in any way?

The requirement to notarize is there to address the validity of the signatures. It started back in ancient times. Until now, we still need notaries to prove that a document is indeed trustworthy.

The same applies to electronic documents, and that is why we have digital signatures now. They came in to help in adding more information to the signature. What happens is that there is a third-party involved and a certificate.

The CA (Certificate Authority) is the other entity, and it’s the one that identifies the signatories. There is a digital certificate issued to allow the creation of the digital signature via a cloud-based platform. It could also be an application.

Once you use the digital signature on the document, the certificate binds with the signed data. That implies there is cryptography used to create the keys, which will work as the blueprint.

Due to the encryption involved, the signed document cannot be tampered with in any way. It’s like your fingerprint. That is why the law considers digital signatures more than electronic types.

The document is completely sealed and also compliant with the rules and regulations. So, via cryptography, a digital signature ensures the following:

  • You can verify the source of the document due to the applied authenticity.
  • There are no alterations on the document, and if there are, the signature will be deemed invalid.
  • There is a trusted organization to verify the signature due to the certificate issuance.

Part 3: Document Signing Platforms that Support Digital Signatures

You don’t need to worry about getting and using a digital signature since it’s the secure one. There is some good news for those who want to keep signatures safe and input other supporting information.

The prior is now enhanced by online e-signing platforms such as CocoSign. It may be different from what you use, but it’s known to create and use the signatures. Individuals, partnerships, and companies across the globe are now utilizing it.

With CocoSign, you can create the digital signature in minutes and use it on any document you upload. It’s web-based, meaning you can use any device to access it. By creating an account there, you get free storage for the signature and the documents too.

When you are creating the signature, though, an account is not necessary. Here are the qualities that allow CocoSign to be the chosen digital signing platform:

Enhanced Security For Your Signature and Documents

As more things become doable online, there is a demanding need to keep the data secure. For CocoSign, they ensure that there is limited entry to their premises. There is also a centralized system to ensure that the control over the network is from one point.

The platform is also compliant with international security protocols and standards. They include SOC 1&2, CFR code under FDA regulations, HIPAA, and GDPR, among others. That’s in addition to the encryption protocols.

Multi-Layer Protection

Entry to your account requires several authentication processes. The CocoSign cloud has malware detectors and antivirus programs, which are among the layers of protection on the servers.

There is also a team that is always on the watch. In the case of a breach, the reporting, recommendation, and correction are made immediately. You can rest knowing that CocoSign will never let anything happen to your signature and the corresponding documents.

Audit Trails

As you sign the documents, CocoSign associates the signature with your information. In case there is a dispute or an online attack, the data will show who signed and when.

If there are any modifications later after the signing, CocoSign will also show. When you embed the digital signature, other added details include your initials, timestamps, and email. With such data, it will be easy to solve disputes and any other detected threats.


As you look for ways to reduce physical paperwork, you need to be aware of the online signing process. It also happens via applications. You may require further reading to get more information about digital and electronic signatures.

We have, however, shed light on what you need to know and how each differs. They are both the same since we are using devices to make them. On the other hand, a digital signature is more secure, especially where the law is concerned.


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