Today you can certify documents with a digital signature. This is the safest way of verifying your identity among all the others. It means that the person who signs the document is thoroughly familiar with its content and agrees with it. The algorithms for developing a qualification signature are more complicated, and its legal force is higher than that of the usually handwritten autograph. QES is considered an advanced system and requires proof of identity. That means that it is more difficult for fraudsters to forge a unique signature.
Let's take a closer look at what QES is, its types, which option to choose, and what rules they are regulated by.
What is a Qualified electronic signature?
An electronic qualification signature is a type of electronic signature that is obtained by cryptographically transforming a set of data that identifies a user. What it looks like: the autograph is not physical, it is an electronic certificate that confirms that the person's data is real, and it can be used to sign a document online. The main advantage is that the signature cannot be copied, because a set of cryptographic methods creates it.
This problem became especially acute with the beginning of quarantine when people did not have the opportunity to visit offices and sign documents by themselves. Now all contracts and essential agreements can be signed online safely and without the intervention of other people or intermediaries. Only you or a certain number of people will have access to the electronic signature, depending on your choice. You are provided with a unique set of keys.
An electronic signature is more legally binding than a qualified signature. The relevant authorities must confirm it. It is more secure, and its reliability exceeds even a handwritten signature. The data you need to create is encrypted. They can be accessed only by a unique key.
Types of QES
There are two types of electronic qualification signatures: local and centralized. It is essential to understand their differences to use them safely.
Local QES means that you have a device for this signature, like a smart card. An electronic certificate with access to information is located on a physical device. You use it to sign documents and it works on any operating system. This method is used most often because you literally hold all the data in your hands.
With centralized QES, your data resides on a secure remote server. Its advantage is that you do not need an electronic medium. At any time, you can sign a contract by requesting a signature from any device that has access to the Internet.
For individuals and organizations, different options are suitable. For example, in a company, it is more convenient to use the remote option. With him, at any time, you can sign documents by using the key. In addition, in this case, you are sure that you will not lose the storage medium.
Difference between simple and advanced ES
A simple electronic signature is the most readily available. That is an easy way to certify documents; it does not require additional checks. It is easy to create it by using the information system tools, most often, these are codes or passwords. You may come across the use of a simple signature when you apply to the bank for services, but it is possible to sign electronic documents with it if there is an agreement between the parties. You may also use such a signature to identify yourself when you send emails. For this type of signature, a minimum of information is used: name, surname, where the person lives at the moment.
Features of this option:
● personal information is encrypted and used to understand that the person is real and the data correspond to real ones;
● security is provided only by passwords or shortcodes;
● scopes of application: banking system, obtaining public services, use within the organization;
● features of the legal application (depends on the regulations).
The exploitation of this type of signature is available to both companies and individuals. After creating it, you can log in to the websites, certify documents (if agreed by the parties) or protect your data (usually a password is used for this). A simple electronic signature is created to facilitate the receipt of services from banks or government services and in organizations to sign personal and corporate letters. Its advantage is that it does not take a lot of time to create, but it can be used in many areas.
An extended electronic signature is considered more secure, and its scope is increased by providing additional data for its creation. Let's consider each point of the benefits in more detail. Firstly, such a signature is directly related to the person and confirms his identity. Secondly, while creating an extended electronic signature, the specified data are under the control of their owner. If there are changes in the registered information, they must be confirmed. Otherwise, the signature will not be valid.
Electronic signature regulations
There is a regulation that controls electronic signatures. Each country sets its own rules. It depends on where and how you can use a specific type of signature. These rules govern both the connection of the signature with a real person and their storage. Thus, the use of an electronic signature is allowed only to people who have the right to do so, and they are verified. So you can be sure of the safety of your personal data. The main thing is the legality of the signatures and the fact that you can safely use them without fear for the documents. This method is a guarantee of the protection of the identity of everyone who signs papers and contracts. All autographs must have an international safety certificate.
A qualified electronic signature ensures the security and legality of online transactions. Also, in this case, complete confidentiality is respected: the data used to create the signature is unique - it is almost impossible to get and forge them.
In modern realities, it is not always possible to come to a personal meeting - it takes time and you need to shift plans. Thanks to electronic signatures, you can familiarize yourself with documents and sign them anywhere and at any time. Documents can be easily accessed in real-time.
To protect your signature from potential theft, make sure it is secure. What passwords and keys are used, are they too simple, how they are stored? If it is a physical medium, be sure that it is stored safely and that only you and authorized persons have access.
The correct usage of a Qualified Electronic Signature will make your life easier. Use an electronic signature on purchase or sale agreements, customer agreements, reports, orders, and other essential documents. Study documents remotely, sign them, and send them all over the world in the shortest possible time!