Since all data has gone electronic, it was only a matter of time before everything else, including the signature went digital. And indeed it has – the digital signature. Today, you can sign documents electronically, an authentic signature. It is not too hard to understand, although there is some technicality behind it, but as consumers, we are usually interested in the finished product.
Digital signature is a mathematical method that is used to ascertain the validity, authenticity and the integrity of software, message or a digital document. Ideally, this kind of signature is an equivalent of the normal handwritten signature, or even a stamp. The insecurity that is often posed on the documents you publish and send is intended to be solved by this method. As such, the issue of impersonation and tampering in digital communications is greatly limited. Primary key cryptography is the main technology that is used when it comes to digital signatures. The primary key cryptography engages the use of a public algorithm to come up with two keys, one public and the other private, which are mathematically connected. To come up with a digital signature, digital signing software creates a hash of the electronic data to be signed. The private key created before is then used to encrypt the hash, and this, together with other information becomes the digital signature. The hash function created can change arbitrary data to a simpler value or version, hence, it is a better option to encrypt the hash only and not the entire message intended to be sent. To get the information, the receiver of the message or electronic document uses the public key created by the sender to decrypt another hash that has the same information as the one sent to him. In the event that the decrypted hash does not correspond with that which was sent, the integrity of the message sent will be in question, hence proof of tampering. On the other hand, it could also mean that the private key that was used in the encryption of the hash, and thereafter became the digital signature, does not correspond with the public key presented by the sender.
Electronic transactions can be very critical at time, tampering of information being sent can cause disputes among the contracting parties. It is for this reason that digital signatures are important. In the event that the hash is tampered with, it will be adequately proven as the digital signature provides evidence with regard to the origin, identity and status of the message, coupled with the informed consent by the signer. As stated above, the digital signature will take care of problems that arise from electronic transactions in which there are no face-to-face meetings, in the face of easily made and undetectable modification that can be done on the electronic documents. The long and short of it is that digital signatures inherently provide more security to documents compared to paper signatures, which are easy to fake and pass of as the original. The reconstruction of circumstance provided by the evidence is very instrumental in the success of the business transactions.