Digital signatures and Electronic signatures

Digital signatures use cryptographic techniques to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the document. The difference between digital signatures and electronic signatures is that although they both function to validate documents, digital signatures offer a higher level of security than electronic signatures, which can be as easy as typing a person’s name.

This article will help you understand, what is digital signatures and electronic signatures, common features, advantages, disadvantages, and their differences.

What is a digital signature?

A Digital Signature operates under the electronic signature environment by using public key infrastructure standards and its role is to encrypt the digital message. 

It is an imaginary scenario of a digital engraving of an individual which exposes the unique ID of a person. In the process of document confirmation, we normally resort to applying the digital signature.

What are the advantages of digital signatures?

  • Legal recognition:
    • Digital mark introduction has been legally signed in many countries, which makes it be trusted more and more.
  • Security:
    • In contrast to the traditional signature whose authenticity can be easily compromised, digital signatures employ advanced cryptographic techniques that make it impractical for a third party to access or modify the signature.
  • Non-repudiation:
    • Digital signatures assure the identifying signature which is termed as non-repudiation, that anyone who signs entered into the document cannot claim not to have done it.

What are the disadvantages of digital signatures?

  • Complexity:
    • Digital signatures may be difficult to create and handle as they require special software, and they may need the user some knowledge of this area.
  • Cost:
    • Comparatively to E-signatures, digital signatures are pricier because of the need to implement dedicated soft and hardware ware.
  • Dependence on technology:
    • Using digital signatures, technology must be applied. By doing so, they make a disadvantage out of the areas with an insufficient infrastructure of technology.

Also read on the difference between digital signature and digital certificate.

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature is comparable to a wet ink signature that can be signed e-signature which can be electronically stored and is legally binding but does not require particular coding or standards.

It could be a symbol, an image, credentials, or some instructions linked to the document or the message that seeks to represent the source of the message as well as the agreement it originated from.

If we don’t have any options left but to apply the e-signature then this feature will be extremely useful for us. The processes of validating the electronic signature are ever reliant on a certifying certificate by a trusted party.

What are the advantages of electronic signatures?

  • Convenience:
    • Currently the technology is the tool, and we can use it to remotely sign the documents, even when we are not in the place where we are.
    • The transaction speed is fairly high in this system as both individuals and businesses can sign the document without physically presenting themselves.
  • Time-saving:
    • Moreover, the digital signatures for the authorities bring instant signing ability. This is much more efficient than the physical signatures, which take some time to send to the relevant authorities, followed by scanning or faxing.
  • Cost-effective:
    • Electronic signatures can serve as a help to businesses in terms of reducing costs on materials like paper, ink, and postage and storage expenses.

What are the disadvantages of electronic signatures?

  • Legal recognition:
    • Electronic signatures might not be recognized as valid in all states of the world, so it is necessary to inspect if local laws and regulations endure the signatures used for action.
  • Technical issues:
    • The digital signatures may lack technical stability and might be vulnerable to system failure, power interruption, and even hacker attacks.
  • Dependence on technology:
    • The use of electronic signatures calls on the behind-the-scene use of technology like computers as well as internet connectivity.
    • Therefore, such a situation may present a disadvantage, particularly for areas with poor technology infrastructure.

Features of digital signatures and electronic signatures

The common features of digital signatures and electronic signatures are as follows;

  • Each one is used to fill out electronic documents and confirm the authenticity of the signer’s identity.
  • Contrary to standard ink signatures on paper records which is beyond doubt, both alternatives are being discussed.
  • Both can be used to be located at remote places and the signature can be used from any location of the parties.
  • Each, for its part, can help to reduce the cost of printing and the time it takes compared to a hand-written signature on paper.
  • Both can be tied by the encryption as well as authentication procedures making a safer signature at the end.
  • This method can be utilized for signing documents, such as documents to comply with legal requirements in various jurisdictions.
  • In terms of both, they serve can different purposes like business contracts, financial days, and legal documents.
  • They both have achieved high levels of popular acceptance in the digital age when a lot of business transactions and communications are conducted by databases and networks.
  • Both techniques are utilized to ascertain the genuineness and authority of the integral document.
  • Both assist in diminishing the probability of fake transactions and ensure that documents are not accessed without signing.

What distinguishes digital signatures and electronic signatures?

While a digital signature is a protected signature that functions with an electronic signature and depends on public key infrastructure, an electronic signature is a legally binding digital version of a wet link signature.

  • An electronic signature is a method, symbol, or picture that is appended to a message or document in order to authenticate the identity and provide consent.
  • In contrast, a digital signature may be thought of as an electronic fingerprint that both identifies and encrypts a person’s identity.
  • Electronic signature shows evidence of authenticity, to the other hand digital signature is for concluding the document security.
  • The uncertainty of whether or not the electronic signatures have been authenticated by any electronic certificate authorities or trust service providers exists.
  • Unlike digital signatures where the validation is done by certifying authorities or trust service providers as a vital trusted party.


In conclusion, although they may look similar, digital signatures and electronic signatures are distinct technologies for signing electronic documents. Although electronic signatures can save time and trouble, digital signatures are especially secure and ensure the document has not been altered. As for businesses and such individuals who must sign electronic documents, and need to ensure the maximum level of security and court enforcement, comprehending these two methods is necessary.

Need a digital signature certificate? 24efiling makes it easy. Our experts will simplify the registration process so that you can get your sign hassle-free.


1. What is the difference between digital signatures and electronic signatures?

• Electronic signature: It stands to mean any sign drawn or function executed wilfully by a person with an underlying motive to mark and certify any written record. It´s like taking a coin: just typing your name.
• Digital signature: A cryptographic operation that will serve to pass an electronic document attestation and possible changes. It involves encryption technology and is more frequently for use than an electronic signature.

2. What is the difference between an electronic signature and an actual signature?

• Electronic signature: A unique element of digital signatures is an electronic signature, which is created and delivered over electronic means.
• Actual signature: The wet ink of the signature, handwritten with pen and paper, smoothly flows when you sign the document.

3. Give examples of digital signatures and electronic signatures.

• Electronic signature: With a click of the keyboard and your name typed at the very end of the email.
• Digital signature: The signing of the PDF using an electronic signature cryptic key.

4. Difference between a typed signature and an electronic signature?

• Typed signature: Whether just signing it by your name or with your digital fingerprint, every act of ours is a statement about who we want to be seen as.
• Electronic signature: A general term, however, which is employed to define an array of various ways a document may be signed including its typed signature, digital signature, and other more sophisticated electronic signature technologies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top