An electronic signature, or digital signature, refers to information in electronic form, that is digitally related to other information in electronic format and that is used to authorize the signer to sign. This type of signature has been around for quite some time, but only now is it becoming popular. The main reason for this is that many people are signing regularly online without even realizing it. For example, people can be signing onto their accounts online and not even realize it, or perhaps are getting a bill online and would like to add something else, such as an event, to their account to save time and money.
The concept of electronic signatures was first explained in 1990 by Mark Crispin as a way to put a number or sequence of numbers on a document to guarantee that it can be signed by the person for whom it is intended. Electronic signatures were created first for computer use, and then extended to other types of electronic communication devices. It is much easier to protect physical signatures with an electronic signature as opposed to a physical key, since there is no need for the e signature to be printed or engraved on the object. Electronic signatures have made physical signatures obsolete and are commonly used for all sorts of legal matters online. However, they still have their place in certain situations.
Lawyers Use Them Lawyers uses electronic signatures extensively, usually in depositions where the person being questioned cannot remember exactly what was said. However, in court cases and for other legal matters, lawyers need to have an electronic signature to authenticate the legal agreement that is being written. This is because signatures are not foolproof and can easily be faked. However, without this signature the case would not have been able to go forward.
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Clients Use Them Clients also uses electronic signatures when hiring individuals to do work for them. This is especially common with large projects such as remodeling a restaurant or hotel. There may be a variety of different professionals that will be doing work on a client’s property, but each one needs a digital signature. Without this, the project cannot be completed. Clients can get a form of electronic signatures on documents to make it easier for them to verify who the people they are hiring are, even if they are hiring locally.
Investors Use Them Investors also uses electronic signatures in the process of investing. Investors often purchase documents containing statements or other kinds of information, and then turn around and mail these pieces of documentation to another investor for a fee. To complete the transaction legally, investors must have the signature of the person who lent the money, plus the signature of the person who receives the funds. Without these electronic signatures, this transaction could be illegal. However, there are some situations where investors still use manual signatures on documents, especially when the investment is done through a bank.
Documents For Employees.
Employees Add Electronic Signatures Many companies also use electronic signatures when employees perform some of the duties required of their position. For example, some companies may require their employees to complete some forms of paperwork or submit information to another company. Without these signatures, the transaction cannot be completed. Some companies use computers to collect these signatures, though there are companies that can easily and securely add electronic signatures to documents for employees.
Lawyers Use Them Lawyers also use electronic signatures for a variety of different reasons. Lawyers commonly add electronic signatures to legal documents to make it more convenient for clients to find the information they are looking for. It can be much more difficult for a person to remember all of the different parts of a contract unless they have a good memory of all of the details. Using electronic signatures eliminates this problem, allowing clients to quickly find information about the contract. Additionally, lawyers often use these signatures to indicate when a document has been signed electronically, thereby allowing a client to know the exact date that the document was signed. Since electronic signatures eliminate many of the problems associated with manual signatures, lawyers tend to use them much more frequently than other types of professionals.
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Clients and Professionals Use Them As well Many professionals such as vendors, contractors, and even employees who deal with sensitive documents use electronic signatures on various documents to make it less likely that the person will forget that the document was signed. Because electronic signatures eliminate the need for a physical signature, documents can be handled much more efficiently throughout the entire process. Clients can feel confident that if a document is signed electronically, it is safe, secure, and easy to retrieve as well as update.
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