Most of the times the question of what a digital signature is, is asked by – not exactly smart but not even technically challenged people. So first of all let us understand what a digital signature is.
For an easier understanding think of a digital signature as serving a purpose similar to that of an on paper signature. A signature is used to authenticate a person as it is very unlikely that anyone would be able to copy the signature of an individual. Similarly digital signature uses mathematical functions which give a unique signature to the sender at the same time encrypting the message if required to make sure that the message or the documents being sent via email or through any digital medium are sent by the person they are claimed to be sent by. And even these documents or messages are not tampered with or edited and reach in the same condition they are sent.
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Advantages of Using A Digital Signature
- Digital being added to almost anything makes it a lot faster than the non-digital version of that thing. Similarly a digital signature can be used to send documents a lot faster, almost instantaneously, as the documents can now be sent via mail and do not need to be delivered in person or via courier.
- Also an added advantage would be the decreased cost of sending the documents as the digital signatures are comparatively a lot less expensive than any courier service charge for sending documents.
- Not only this, a document sent via courier or in person could be tampered with on the way but when sent using a digital signature it gets encrypted in such a way that any kind of tampering with the document is not possible.
- Further, a document which is digitally signed can effortlessly tracked and located in few minutes.
- Nobody else can fake your digital signature or present an electronic file incorrectly claiming it was signed by you.
- The documents containing digital signatures are in no way different form documents containing a pen on paper signature as they would even stand in court when produced because a digital signature cannot be copied and also contains a date and time stamp.
Disadvantages Of Using A Digital Signature
The advantages greatly overshadow the disadvantages. Practically the only disadvantages of using digital signature are the weak laws regarding cyber security which might cause any unnecessary hassles in case of a court case and that both parties have to purchase the certificates for the digital signature in order to use it instead of the one party courier charge.
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To conclude, without much argument, safely say that digital signature is a big breakthrough in the field of technology and can be used, nay, should be used generously as its advantages greatly overshadow their disadvantages.