Online signature: How it works and why you should already be using it


We have entered the digital era, where online signature plays an increasingly important role in our daily life and work. Find out how online signature works and why you should start using it.
An online signature, also known as an electronic signature, is the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature that is used to verify the integrity and authenticity of digital documents or messages.

Just as a traditional signature on paper confirms your agreement with the content of the document, an online signature fulfills the same function, but in digital form. It can be folded

  • from your name written in digital form,
  • your digital brand,
  • or even from unique codes
  • whose passwords are associated with your digital account.

Nowadays, the importance of online signatures is becoming more and more obvious. With digitization, a large number of our daily activities have moved online,

  • whether it's communication,
  • shopping,
  • financial management
  • or work.

This means we need a way to confirm consent to transactions and documents even in an online environment. And this is exactly the space for an online signature.

It is important to emphasize that an online signature is not just about transferring a classic signature into a digital form. It is a more sophisticated technology that provides a higher level of security and authentication. It is thanks to these properties that the online signature is not only an effective tool for digital communication and transactions, but also a key element in the fight against fraud and abuse of applications and digital systems.

In addition, online signature brings us other possibilities and advantages. For example, it allows us to sign documents and carry out transactions much faster and more efficiently, without the need for a physical meeting or sending documents by post. This saves us time and costs and allows us to remain more flexible and react faster to different situations.

Online signature has already become an integral part of our digital age and its importance will only grow in the future. That is why it is important to be able to use it effectively and understand its functioning.

The technological principle behind the online signature

The technology behind an online signature is complex, but the basic principles and procedures that ensure its authenticity and security are relatively simple to understand.

Creating an online signature can be briefly described as follows:

  • Key generation: The first step in the process of creating an online signature is the generation of a pair of keys - private and public. The two keys are mathematically related, but the public key cannot be derived from the private key. The private key always remains in the user's possession and is protected by a password or other authentication method.
  • Signing a document: When you decide to sign a digital document, the software creates a so-called hash - a unique series of numbers and letters that represents the content of the document. Then this hash is encrypted using your private key. The result is your unique online signature.
  • Signature Verification: If someone wants to verify your online signature, they use your public key to decrypt the signature and get the original hash. It then creates a new hash from the original document. If the two hashes match, it verifies that the document has not been altered since it was signed and that it came from you.
    This process ensures that your online signatures are secure and verifiable. It is also important that your private key is never forwarded over the Internet and is not accessible to anyone else. This means that only you can create signatures using your private key, making online signatures more secure.

It is important to emphasize that the technology of online signatures is currently at a very high level and is regulated in detail by laws and standards. This means that if you decide to use online signatures, you can be sure that they are safe and legally valid.

The importance and benefits of using an online signature

The benefits of an online signature are undeniable and bring efficiency and effectiveness to many areas of our daily lives and work.

  • Speed and convenience: You can sign documents anytime and anywhere you have access to the Internet, regardless of the type of device. There is no need to wait for the documents to be delivered by post or to pick them up in person. You can sign contracts, agreements and other documents in the comfort of your home or office.
  • Save time and money: You don't need to print, scan or mail documents. This saves you not only time, but also money that you would otherwise spend on printing and postage.
  • Security and traceability: Every online signature is unique. The technology behind an online signature provides a higher level of security than a traditional handwritten signature.
  • Legal validity: Online signatures are legally valid and accepted on the same level as traditional signatures in many countries.
  • Eco-friendliness: Online signatures are more ecological, since it is not necessary to print anything.
    Given these benefits and the importance of online signing, it is important that we learn how to use it properly and safely. Online signatures are becoming the new standard in business communication, remote work and many other areas of our lives.

Legal aspects of online signature

One of the key aspects of online signatures is their legal validity and regulation.

In the world of digital technology, it is important that every online signature is not only technically secure, but also legally recognized.

  • Legal validity of online signatures: In most countries of the world, including Slovakia, online signatures have the same legal validity as traditional handwritten signatures. This means that a document you sign online is as binding and legally recognized as if you had signed it by hand.
  • Regulation at the EU level: Within the European Union, the use of online signatures is regulated by the eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services) directive. This directive unifies the legislation regarding online signatures in all EU member states and ensures that signatures are recognized across borders.
  • Types of online signatures: The eIDAS directive distinguishes three types of online signatures: simple, enhanced and qualified. Each offers a different level of security and authentication and can be suitable for different types of documents and transactions.
  • Trusted Services: Legislation also defines the role of trusted services that provide online signature services. These services must meet strict security and protection requirements and are regulated and monitored by the relevant national and European authorities.
  • Data protection: The use of online signatures is also subject to personal data protection rules, in particular the GDPR regulation. This means that service providers must ensure the protection and security of data that is processed in the process of creating and verifying online signatures.

The main advantages of online signature

Work processes and data security are two areas that can be significantly improved through the use of online signatures.

However, the main advantages of an online signature also include:

  • Optimization of work processes: Online signatures allow immediate signing of documents without the need for printing or scanning. This dramatically speeds up processes, especially when documents need to be signed by multiple people.
  • Ubiquity: Thanks to online signatures, it is possible to sign documents from anywhere and on any device where the Internet is available. This means that it does not matter whether you are in the office, at home, or on the go - your work can continue without unnecessary delays.
  • Security and data protection: Online signatures are protected by advanced encryption technologies that ensure the protection of your data from unauthorized access and information leakage.
  • Evidence value: Thanks to certificates and digital stamps, it is possible to clearly verify the integrity of the signed document. This guarantees that the document will not be altered after signing.
  • Environmental sustainability: Last but not least, online signatures are much more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. They save paper and reduce the need to transport documents, which has a positive impact on the environment.

Use of online signature in various sectors

Online signature is currently used in many sectors

  • from the shop
  • through education
  • up to healthcare.

It not only simplifies processes and saves time, but also brings a higher level of security.

Let's look at some specific examples where online signature has proven to be a useful tool:

  • Business: Online signature is often used in standard business contact, especially when signing contracts, orders, invoices and other business documents. It enables faster and more efficient conclusion of business agreements without the need for physical meetings and sending documents to the post office.
  • Education: Online signatures are used when registering new students, signing study plans, registering for exams, but also when communicating with parents. This brings greater flexibility and speed to educational processes.
  • Health care: In the health care field, online signatures streamline the management of patient records, enable digital access to health documentation, and support faster communication between individual health facilities.
  • Authorities: Online signatures simplify and speed up communication with authorities. Whether it is about submitting an application, processing various permits or communicating with the courts, an online signature enables these actions to be completed quickly and securely.
  • Real estate agencies: When buying or renting real estate, the online signature is used primarily for signing purchase contracts, rental contracts, but also for signing documents related to mortgage loans.

How to learn to use an online signature

Online signature is a tool that can make your life much easier. So how do you get started?

Follow these simple steps and start enjoying the benefits of the digital age:

  • Choosing an online signature provider: Before you start using online signature, you need to choose a provider of this service. When choosing a provider, it is important to consider several factors such as security, ease of use, price and quality of customer support.
  • Creating an account: After choosing a provider, you need to create an account. It's usually a quick and easy process that involves entering basic information and creating a login.
  • Using Online Signature: With your account created, you can now sign documents online. This can be as simple as opening the document in the provider's application, adding the signature where desired and saving the changes.

Why you should use an online signature

Online signatures are now an important part of the digital sphere and offer many advantages. First, they bring enormous comfort. How often have you been in a situation where you had to print a document, sign it, scan it, and then send it by email or post?

This process is time-consuming and can be problematic, especially if you don't have a printer or scanner readily available. Online signature eliminates these steps and allows you to sign documents quickly and efficiently, from anywhere and anytime, as long as you have access to the Internet.

The second important advantage is safety. Online signature services use strong encryption mechanisms to ensure that your signatures and documents are protected from unauthorized access.

This is much more secure than traditional ways of signing documents, where a paper document can easily be lost, stolen or damaged.

Another benefit concerns legal validity. Online signatures are legally recognized in many jurisdictions and have the same legal weight as their physical equivalents. This means you can use online signatures for contracts, agreements, invoices and other important documents without worry.

In addition, online signatures contribute to sustainability. They reduce the need for paper and printers, which not only saves you costs, but also helps protect the environment. So using online signatures is not only practical and efficient, but also an ecological solution.

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