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Why Everything, Including Digital Signature Has Gone Digital

Digital Signature vs. Handwritten Signature

Really, we should not be doing a comparison here between these two since one is handwritten and the other is digital, but they are both signatures. With data gone online, it has become necessary to explore means to authenticate documents and the advent in technology has brought about the digital signature. Over the years, when transactions were mainly on a personal basis, a handwritten signature was thought to be the best for of validating the document. However, in the wake of technology, transactions are losing their personal touch but parties can still maintain the same level of trust in their documents. Various differences exist between digital signature and handwritten signatures, most of which place an added advantage on using digital signature.

Prevention of forgery

Forgery of handwritten signatures has been present for centuries upon centuries. However, instances of forgery in digital signature are very rare. This is because the mechanisms that one would b required to employ to forge a handwritten signature is different from those to be used on a digital signature. In the absence of compromise with regards to the private key, there is bound to be minimal cases of forgery of digital signature, as compared to master the art of rewriting someone else’s signature.

Detection of forgery

More often than not, forged handwritten signatures are passed off as the original ones. In the absence of an expert in search matters, it would be impossible for one to determine whether a handwritten signature has been forged or not. Detection of which also depends on the level of expertise of the said expert. Digital signature is of cryptographic nature. As such, any attempts to forge the electronic document would be detected by the concerned parties.

Integrity of the data

As stated earlier, handwritten signatures are prone to forgery. As such, the integrity and validity of the information contained in the document could be put in order to question. If anything, it is possible that an individual alters the information that is intended to be sent, to not include much of anything or to sabotage the transaction. Such instances are rare when it comes to documents signed using a digital signature. Once one places the digital signature on the document or data, the said data cannot be altered at all. Any attempts to do so will be detected and the contracting parties will be informed of such attempts. The security placed on the data or information involved in the transaction is of a stronger nature compared to that provided by the handwritten signature.

Repudiation

While handwritten signatures are fairly secure against repudiation, digital signature assures one of complete non repudiation by the sending party. To determine whether the signer is the actual person that signed the document, a skilled expert will be contracted to check the handwritten signature to that effect, the results of which are subject to his level of expertise. On the other hand, digital signature is very particular when it comes to the signer’s signature. Additionally, it traces back to the signer with no requirement of any expert.

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