Senior Center of Greater Richmond

Creating Opportunities for Healthy Aging Through Social Engagement

What is an electronic signature?

Most persons use some type of electronic signature every day. For example, when we click a "Submit" button to purchase a product online, we are signing electronically. Technically speaking, an electronic signature is a symbol or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document. Other examples of common electronic signatures take the form of an "I accept" button on a web site agreement or a physical signature on an electronic siWhat is an electronic signature?gnature pad, commonly used at retail stores when paying for products.

Sometimes the term "digital signature" is used interchangeably with "electronic signature." A digital signature, however, is really just a type of electronic signature. Digital signatures involve public and private key encryption that is used to secure an electronic document or electronic message from unauthorized tampering. A discussion of digital signatures is beyond the scope of this set of Frequently Asked Questions, but any commercial digital signature provider (such as IdenTrust, GeoTrust or VeriSign, among many others) can assist you with more technical questions regarding the function and purpose of digital signatures.