What is Digital Signatures?
Digital signatures are often wont to implement electronic signature, which incorporates any electronic data that carries the intent of a signature, but not all electronic signatures use digital signatures. They are a specific signature technology implementation of electronic signature (eSignature).
How do digital signatures work?
Digital signatures, like handwritten signatures, are unique to every signer. Digital signature solution providers, like DocuSign, follow a selected protocol, called PKI. PKI requires the provider to use a mathematical algorithm to get two long numbers, called keys. One key’s public, and one key’s private.
When a signer electronically signs a document, the signature is made using the signer’s private key, which is usually securely kept by the signer. The mathematical algorithm acts sort of a cipher, creating data matching the signed document, called a hash, and encrypting that data. The resulting encrypted data is that the digital signature. The signature is additionally marked with the time that the document was signed. If the document changes after signing, the digital signature is invalidated.
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