The need to digitalize documents is becoming increasingly popular today. It’s technology’s answer to users’ demand for efficiency and accuracy in records management, legal documentation, and even personal transactions. These documents are often text or images on paper or film that have been converted into an electronic format. Its accomplished material can be stored and edited electronically.
An example of this is the scan copy of business financial statements. A scanned copy is made to support accounting reports, loan applications, or substantiate a business claim. The material is then forwarded through email, transferred to an electronic storage device, and other communication media.
Unlike the laborious documentation with pen and paper or the typewriter, other manual data entry is now done through computers. The use of word documents, spreadsheets, and other data entry applications helps minimize the cost of manpower and office supplies. Today, more and more people learn how to sign a Word document to facilitate their transactions more seamlessly.
Signing a digital file, though unlike attaching a hand-written signature on actual paper, still imposes legal responsibilities on its signatories. It also aligns with professional work ethics when affixing your signature to digital materials.
Before signing such a digital instrument, all legal and administrative requirements should be complied with. Read on to learn more.
Tips For Signing A Digital Document
Know Your Document
Your digital material has to be original before it is reproduced digitally. It has to be a reproduction from the original to retain its legal value. It can be accepted as evidence in court if it’s a faithful copy of the original should legal repercussions arise. Otherwise, it doesn’t have any value and is considered scrap by the courts.
Many online tools help you write or generate digital documentation of relevant material. Still, you need to know the source, its legitimacy, and purpose before attaching your signature.
Know Your Sender
Going paperless doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll sacrifice the binding effect of your digital instrument. You need to know who did the digital deeds that require your signature. The authenticity of the file depends on the legality of the transaction and the person of its sender or maker.
Digital files have the same binding effect as a physical document, even if the parties to it are too far from each other to execute it in person. Being aware of the person’s legal capacity who sent you the document also ensures that someone is accountable if problems develop due to signing the digital material.
Know Your Requirements
The requirements for signing a digital file vary depending on its kind. Your digital signature must comply with its requisites, whether an image, audio, video, or movie document.
You may want to attach your signature on an art piece that you made for advertising purposes or for archiving. Or your signature is needed on vital documents, but you’re on travel. Whatever the case, the attachment of your digital signature to a digital or electronic record is critical. These instances require different requirements, partly because of the various laws in many states.
Types Of Digital Signatures
Simple Electronic Signatures
It’s the most common digital signature form where signatures are scanned and transformed into images. These signatures are then attached to the digital material using various computer applications’ simple ‘paste’ method.
Advanced Electronic Signatures
This type of signature requires some levels of electronic or digital identification processes. It identifies the signatory based on some other documents that prove identity.
Qualified Electronic signatures
The qualified electronic signature requires the appearance of the signatory online for further verification of identity. You may be required to appear on a video chat and the likes. Some documents have an attached application that takes your photo or ‘selfie’ while holding your valid government identification card.
When you digitally sign a document, your electronic signature generates a digital code used to identify the document. It’s then encrypted or attached to the digital piece and sent to the recipients with your public key.
There are a lot of tools that will help you sign digitally. Though if you’re using a digital pen, it will not be a problem. You’ll just open the document and sign or mark it on your gadget.
Signing a digitally prepared document bears the same binding legal effect on all the parties. The person signing it has to be appropriately tracked or identified. The signatory’s place of origin has to be identified because of the different regulations in different states about it.
You can browse through the links in this content to learn more about your digital file and how to attach your identity to it.