by Wim Temmerman, Sales Director EMEA
So you need to sign an electronic document. So you go to a free web service that offers to apply an “eSignature” to a. So you think “ok, sounds good.” So that web service lets you create or import a graphic that looks like a signature and apply it to the document. So you do it and send it on its way. So what’s the problem?
Well, the problem is that’s not a full-fledged eSignature. Sure, it’s a signature that’s electronic. But it doesn’t have all the characteristics that make an eSignature into a tool for maintaining document integrity and signing security.
The difference between real eSignatures and the rest
eSignatures may let you use any type of signature you prefer—including graphics such as your handwritten signature and company logo, and text like your name, organization, country, and location.
But true eSignatures in PDF documents and PDF forms come with an authentication process built right in. Real eSignatures store information about who signed the PDF document along with the date, time, and status of the document when they signed it. That means that if the document’s been changed since it was originally signed, readers will know it.
So real eSignatures offer a level of authenticity you simply won’t get from a web service or product that merely lets you create a picture of a signature, attach it to a document, and send the document on its way.
Anything else is playing with the word “eSign” or “eSignature,” which is why there’s a lot of confusion out there about what eSignatures really are and what they do for you.
Are eSignatures secure?
The short answer is yes, depending upon the eSignature service provider you use. In order for them to be secure, you need to work with a company that’s secure. Which means you’ll need to know a few things about the company you’re using for eSigning, such as whether or not they offer true eSignatures that they comply with the eSignature rules in your region.
Foxit PhantomPDF and Foxit Reader both enable you to use eSignatures with built in integration with DocuSign, a leading eSignature provider. DocuSign offers a very high level of compliance with security standards and eSignature regulations, including compliance with the ESIGN Act.
So the next time you need to sign documents, don’t settle for a signature that’s merely electronic. Get the security and authenticity you need by usingor PhantomPDF to use a real eSignature.