Difference Between Digital Signature and Electronic Signature



In practice, a lot of people use the terms digital signature and electronic signature interchangeably. Although a digital signature is a type of electronic signature, but they are not exactly the same. The most basic difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature is that a digital signature is used to secure a document, whereas an electronic signature is used to verify a document.

Read this article to find out more about digital signatures and electronic signatures and how they are different from each other.

What is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that is used to validate the legitimacy of a digital message or a document. The digital signature provides the surety to the recipient that the message was created by a known sender so that during the verification process the sender cannot deny having sent the message.

Digital signatures are widely used for software distribution, financial transactions, and in other cases where there is a risk of forgery. Therefore, the digital signatures are used for securing an electronic document.

What is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature, also referred to as e−signature, indicates either that a person who demands to have created a message is the one who created it. In other words, an electronic signature may also be defining as multiple techniques of securing a signature on a document or device.

An electronic signature contains methods to capture an image of a handwritten signature. It may also be easily typing your name into a signature box. An example of a frequently generated electronic signature is when it is sign for a delivery on the courier’s digital tool. One important characteristic of an electronic signature is that it discloses the objective by the signer to sign the file.

Difference between Digital Signature and Electronic Signature

The important differences between digital signature and electronic signature are listed in the following table −

S. No. Digital Signature Electronic Signature
1. It can be understood as an electronic fingerprint. It can be a symbol, an image, a process attached to a message or a document.
2. It is encrypted and helps identify the person who actually signed it. It signifies the identity of the person who signed it, and suggests that it was consented for.
3. The authentication mechanism used here is known as the certificate-based digital ID. The authentication mechanism verifies the identity of the person who signed it using their email, and phone PIN.
4. It is used to secure a document. It is used to verify a document.
5. The validation is done by a trusted certificate authority or service provider. It doesn’t have a specific validation process.
6. It is a highly secure mechanism. It is not secure and can be tampered with.

Conclusion

Although a digital signature is a type of an electronic signature, both are not exactly the same thing, as described in the above table. The most significant difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature is that a digital signature is an electronic fingerprint that is encrypted and recognizes the person's integrity who signed it, whereas an electronic signature is a method of defining your signature on a computerized or electronic document.


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