PDF.co allows you to quickly add electronic signatures to your most important paperwork, putting even your largest business goals within reach. To get the most out of your electronically signed documents and greatly heighten your security, it’s best to add a digital signature into each one. This is not the same as an electronic signature you add with your finger, touch screen, typing, image upload or another method.

Secure digital signature transactions use PKI technology to encrypt a digital «fingerprint» into your electronically signed documents or emails, which others then can use to verify the data is authentic and hasn’t been tampered with.

Getting your keys

Third party providers – Certificate Authorities (CAs) – can help you create, use and maintain the integrity of a secure digital signature. When you create one, the CA will use their PKI technology to generate two numbers, or keys, used in the verification process. The first number, or private key, you keep.

The second number, or public key/digital certificate, is provided to the document recipient. The recipient uses the public key to decrypt your signature and determine it is valid. If you don’t use a CA, you’ll need to create the digital certificate yourself through business-friendly tools like Microsoft Office and Adobe.

Secure digital signature transactions are also available with help from secure document signing companies that serve as or partner with CAs.

Inserting and validating signatures

Once you have your keys, the next step is to insert the secure digital signature into the document or email. Specific steps will vary based on the tool or company you use. If you receive a secure digital signature PDF, email or another document, the software you use to open the content often will allow you to validate it. However, you might need to configure the software to do this automatically for you.

A secure signing service may offer security codes you can use with their website or app to access a document that has a digital signature for review/signing.