We live in a modern era that is dominated by the use of technology. One of the main technologies that have had a major impact on our lives is the internet. It has made communication easier and more efficient and opened up new avenues for digital business strategies.
One of the options that this has made possible involves signing documents online. Gone are the days where all contracts relied upon the presence of both parties in the same physical and geographical location. Now people can work for and partner with businesses located all over the world thanks to eSignatures.
Although it seems very promising, there is no denying the fact that eSignatures have also attracted a fair share of cybercriminals looking to defraud and take advantage of contracts. This means that protecting your eSignature is just as important as protecting your live signature.
Let’s take a look at the different reasons why eSignatures should be kept safely.
1. The Contract Could Be Changed
If you’re not careful, you might find that the contract you had signed has changed. Note that the best digital signing software utilizes a process called hashing. This is where the technology makes a copy of the document that you are signing.
In case someone tries to defraud you or make a change in the original agreement such as sneaking in a hash, then you will get an alert and know about this.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you make use of a top-notch digital signing system that allows for hashing.
2. The Signatory May Not Be Who They Claim To Be
Note again that this is only a problem when using a substandard digital software. A top-notch digital software will get the digital certificate of the signatory, which is a representation of the person or company. This will act as proof that the person who is singing is really who they say they are.
A fraudster, however, could try to use someone else’s certificate without his or her consent. A way to get around this problem is to use a PIN with your certificate. This way, only the owner of the certificate will be able to use it.
3. Using A Fake Signature
Another major problem with using eSignatures is that they can be used to forge other documents. It is imperative that you only use a digital signing software that is top-notch and one that secures the entire signing process.
But how do you determine the right digital signing equipment and software?
Well, it should be able to accommodate hashing, audit trails, encryptions, use of digital certificates, as well as other security features. If it lacks any of these, then you should avoid it.
4. Documents Can Be Stolen
While eSigning has opened up new horizons for business, let’s point out the elephant in the room – it has also created an opportunity to steal documents. This is because e-documents are stored in a server accessible through the web.
Cybercriminals could hack into the server and access the document. That said, one way to protect the document is to have it encrypted.
5. eSignature Image Could Be Stolen
Another reason to protect your eSignature is that it will be accompanied by an image of your real signature. This is one thing that freelancers need to know about eSignatures. Someone could steal this image and sign on your behalf while masquerading as you. To ensure that a hacker doesn’t steal the image, make sure that it is not stored in a server.
6. Vulnerabilities In The Software
Cybercriminals love software that has vulnerabilities or bugs. They use this weakness to infect it with malware which finds the bug and uses it to install itself. Keep in mind that malware installations don’t always have to be obvious and some can be quite discreet.
Always make sure that you choose an eSigning software that gets regular updates to ensure that bugs are routinely dealt with.
7. eSigning Software May Not Be Compliant With The Law
You may enter into a contract with a party, but end up resorting to a court intervention due to a misunderstanding caused by one issue or another. However, when the court evaluates the contract, they may throw out your case.
You could be left wondering why this happened, and often it could be caused by the eSigning software not adhering to the laws. Therefore, always make sure that you are using the right eSigning software.
While the internet has opened up many opportunities and new ways of doing business, it has also given rise to cybercrime. This is why it is important to always ensure that you keep your eSignatures safe from hackers looking to commit fraud.