What is electronic signature?

An electronic signature, or e-signature, is data that is logically associated with other data and which is used by the signatory to sign the associated data.

Over the ages, people have used various techniques to complete transactions. In ancient times, it was common to rely on eyewitness verification or seals that kept documents firmly closed until they were delivered. By the Middle Ages, people often used electronic signature (firma elettronica) to verify they had personally authorized a document. Eventually, it became standard to authorize documents by spelling out a person’s name. The creation of a signing machine, also known as an autopen, simplified the process for people who had a lot of documents to sign.

Fast forward to modern times. Many businesses have switched from printed copies of documents to digital versions, often stored in the cloud. As documents have become digitized, so have signatures. Today, many contracts or letters can be signed without having to put pen to paper. Read on to learn more about the use and benefits of electronic signatures.

An electronic signature allows a person to give consent or show they approve of the contents of a document. Also known as e-signatures, electronic signatures can be legally binding for many uses. E-signatures can take several forms: the individual’s name typed out, an uploaded image of the person’s cursive signature, or a signature drawn on the screen of a smartphone or tablet. Some electronic signatures use digital identifiers to verify that the person signing a document is who they claim to be.

How do I create an electronic signature?

‍You can create your electronic signature in a few different ways. Each signature takes only a few clicks or swipes and will be stored in your Hello Sign account for future signing. Here are your options:

‍Draw your signature using your finger or a stylus. If you have access to a touch screen, you can use your finger to create an electronic signature directly in your document. This is particularly helpful for when you’re signing on a mobile device or tablet!

Upload an image of your signature. Use your phone or camera to take a picture of your paper signature. Once it’s uploaded into your Hello Sign account, it will be turned into a file that overlays neatly over the signature line in your document.

Use your cursor to draw your signature. Using your mouse or your touchpad, you can drag your cursor along the signature line to create a unique electronic signature.

Use your keyboard to type in your signature. This is the easiest way to create your electronic signature. Once you’ve typed in your name, you can select a font that best matches your paper signature.

Easy as that! Sign up for a free Hello Sign account receive three free electronic signatures per month. Essentials plans and above unlock unlimited documents, templates, and much more!

‍Is an electronic signature as legal as a paper signature?

Yes! Electronic signatures are federally protected by the ESIGN Act of 2000. They’re also protected on a statewide basis by the UETA Act. Internationally, eSignatures are protected by various acts and legislations. We have customers using HelloSign in Australia, the EU, and more!

Is it secure to use electronic signatures to sign documents?

Yep! It’s absolutely secure as long as you’re working with a verified and secure eSignature provider. HelloSign offers bank-level security to ensure that your information and documents remain protected. This includes:

Hosting in a state-of-the-art SAS70 Type II, SSAE 16 facility that has achieved ISO 27001 certification.

A connection that’s encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). That’s the same level of security at most leading banks!

Documents are stored and encrypted at rest using AES – 256 bit encryption.