You might have been mailed a document or letter in which you are to append your signature and send it back. You could do this the normal way which is a bit of a process; ie, print out the document, sign it and scan it and send it back or you could just sign it electronically and send it back.
Now there is something which people often take in place of electronic signature which is Digital signature.
What is a digital signature?
A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for verifying the authenticity of digital messages or documents.
A valid digital signature where the prerequisites are satisfied gives a recipient very strong reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender and that the message was not altered in transit.
Electronic signature on the other hand refers to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.
This type of signature provides the same legal standing as a handwritten signature as long as it adheres to the requirements of the specific regulation it was created under.
All Digital Signatures use Electronic Signatures but not all Electronic Signatures use Digital Signatures. I just gave these little definitions so we don’t mix the two up.
In reality, an Electronic signature is an image of your signature on top of a PDF document. When you’re mailed a document to sign that is what the sender expects from you.
Different ways to create an Electronic Signature
1. Draw your signature using a stylus or your finger.
This method is most appropriate if you are signing on a touch screen laptop or your phone or a tablet. Use your finger or stylus to draw your signature directly on the document.
2. Use your cursor to draw your signature.
This is used when you’re making use of a mouse or a touchpad. Drag your cursor along the signature line to form your signature on the document.
3. Upload an image of your signature.
You could sign on a piece of paper and make use of your phone camera and take a snapshot of the signature on paper. You could upload it and place it neatly on top of the area where your signature is required in the document.
4. Type in your Signature with your keyboard.
This way is not a very secure method but it can be used. In the area where you are to append your signature, type your name in and look for the font that looks closest to how your signature looks.
This sure would not look like your real signature so I don’t advise you to use this method for important things like bank-related things and anything you deem important to you.
Making use of web-based tools could also be helpful and convenient for creating Electronic Signatures. As I said earlier Electronic Signatures can hold legally, so it is okay and safe to make use of them for documents.