Electronic Signature: An Easy Guide to Digital Signatures, What They Are and Why You Should Use Them

Introduction to Electronic Signature

What is an Electronic Signature?

Electronic signatures (also called electronic certificates) are a type of intellectual property (IP) identification procedure that allow parties (the signers) to prove that an agreement or process occurred when the signatures are presented together with the signatures of other people or entities as supporting documentation.

Electronic signatures are basically the cryptographic means by which a cryptographic hash is created from an electronic document and stored on the electronic signature processor in a way that makes the digital signature completely anonymous.

To understand how an electronic signature works, you first need to understand how the signing process works.

How Does an Electronic Signature Work?

Issuing: When you issue a digital signature, you are essentially doing so in the form of electronic data, this is data that can be transferred over the internet using standard TCP/IP protocols, this is basically the same protocol that you might have on your computer, mobile phone or any other internet-enabled device. When you are signed you can therefore provide proof of authority and prove identity. Signatures can also be encrypted, but for the sake of this article, we will focus on signatures that are not.

Why should you use an electronic signature?

The U.S. Constitution permits the conduct of many business in secret, without disclosing who is involved in the transaction. For example, corporations may use their corporate seal to conduct transactions that are both legal and financially beneficial to the corporation without revealing the identity of the person signing.


Electronic signatures allow you to conduct transactions anonymously and thereby eliminate the burdensome paperwork required to keep your business records secure. An electronic signature provides your business with a digital version of a signature that can be used to authenticate your business.

Who can use an Electronic Signature?

Electronic signatures can be used by anyone, because they can be used for any document. But that includes other people too. For example, your attorney can use electronic signatures. So you can use your attorney to sign a contract or a deed, or even a “will.”