Digital document signing is becoming standard protocol as businesses process thousands of electronic transactions each day. But what is it, and why take the time to use it with your documents? Is there any real benefit?
What is digital document signing?
Digital document signing is a software-based process that places encrypted data within your document. It should not be confused with electronic signature (e.g., your name typed or drawn into the document).
What are the benefits of digital document signing?
Digital document signing has a lot of benefits for convenience. Firstly, it is a time saver and it is energy efficient. You don’t have to meet people in person to sign a document. Also, if you receive a document that needs to be signed it unburdens you. In practice, when you digitally sign pdf documents it frees you because it prevents you from the hustle of printing the document, signing and scanning the document before sending the document. PDF.co enables you to sign the document almost instantly and send that document.
PDF.co allows you to put your digital signature details on the document whether using a computer, tablet or mobile device.
What is the difference between a digital signature and electronic signature?
These terms are often used interchangeably. Digital signatures form a subset of electronic signatures. These digital signatures provide and enhance security using encryption technology. The sensitive information such as the signature is encrypted. After verification, the sensitive information is decrypted and made available. Both digital and electronic signatures are created online and used for signing documents. Typically, electronic signatures are the standard.
Why is digital document signing so important?
The digital signature creation process involves using a mathematical algorithm to create data matching what’s in your file – this is known as the hash. The software encrypts this information, along with other data, using a number known as a private key.
The encrypted data and another number, known as the public key, together make up the digital signature, which is appended into the document.
Understanding this technical setup, when you digitally sign a PDF, or when you digitally sign a Word doc, your recipient’s software will use the public key to decrypt the document. But the software also will try to calculate a new hash. If this new hash doesn’t match the original hash from the document, it means that someone has altered the document.
Thus, digital signature details enable your recipient to verify your identity and have confidence that no tampering has occurred.
Today’s business contracts and other documents often include sensitive information and have significant legal implications. For this reason, being able to digitally sign a PDF online brings enormous protection to everyone involved.
This protection often translates to improved trust, which can mean benefits such as longer partnerships, increased sales, and faster payments. Combining these advantages with the general benefits of working electronically – for example, reduced overhead, more space, and the ability to conduct business anywhere, anytime – can give a business a serious edge in the increasingly sophisticated and competitive marketplace.
How do you electronically sign a document?
Here’s how to make an electronic signature and sign a document online using pdf.co
Step 1. Open PDF.co on your browser
Step 2. Select Sign Up or Login
It is possible to sign up simply with your Google account or use your email address.
Step 3. After signing in, Select Sign PDF on the menu bar on the upper part of the screen next to the pdf.co logo.
Step 4. You will be given various options to upload the PDF document. These options include choosing a file to upload directly from your computer or device or from Dropbox directly or even from a given URL.
Step 5. After the document is uploaded, you have more options of who will sign the document. These options include only me, me and others or others only.
Step 6. If you select only me, you are given new options and an instruction that says “Add signature and click proceed to save.” Choose the first icon under this that looks like a pencil on paper. This will open up a dialogue box which will allow you to draw your signature or to put signatures you have already made.
Step 7. After you are done with the signature, you can easily resize the signature and place it where it needs to be on the document. All that is left is to save the document and download it to send.
How do you create and send a document for someone else to sign electronically?
So you simply follow the steps above until Step 5. This time, however, you chose “others only” or “Me and others.” This will open a dialogue box which will allow you to change the document title and enter name and emails to invite people to sign the document. There is also a bonus option that allows someone to add an invitation message related to the need to sign the document.