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The introduction of electronic signatures to industries received its fair share of initial backlash, but in the end proved, to even the most apprehensive, to be much more efficient and well-liked than the previous pen and paper method.

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act in 2000 was the final seal of approval, which made electronic signatures legal and as valid as a paper signature. But, what classifies as an electronic signature, and how do you know it’s protected? The level of security and protection signers receive depends fully on the provider they choose.

Electronic signatures that utilize an enterprise-level electronic signature process are usually include an intensive audit trail of who signed and when they signed. The necessary elements are provided to assist with the legal validity of signed contract s in practice as well as in court.

That being said, not all signatures that are electronic are also digital signatures. Electronic signatures track who signed, when they signed and captures intent and consent while a digital signature encompasses more of the security and data built in to protect electronic signatures from forgery or alteration. In short: an electronic signature is legal but it may not keep your information as well protected as a digital signature. Form Simplicity’s electronic signatures are backed by the security enhancements of digital signatures, to ensure authenticity and signature validation.

Before you sign on the dotted line, do some research into the company whose system you will be utilizing, and ask yourself if their system contains all the right security features and is your information and intent protected as well as prevention from signature  tampering or forgery.