What is the Digital Signatures and electronic signatures

What is the Digital Signatures and electronic signatures – The difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature is that digital signatures are used for securing a document so that no person can meddle with it without authorization. Electronic signature mainly aims at verifying a document.

The COVID – 19 pandemic has made it necessary to work remotely using e-channels. This has resulted in transactions/contracts being executed using e-signatures, as businesses must go on. Many businesses are hesitant to embrace this option, but it is an option that is here to stay with business transactions. In Nigeria, Section 93 (2) and (3) of the Nigerian Evidence Act recognizes the use of electronic signatures. It provides that where a rule of evidence requires a signature or provides for certain consequences if a document is not signed, an electronic signature is permissible. A person signing electronically need only show that a procedure exists to verify that an electronic record is that of the person.

An electronic signature can be a symbol or a security procedure evidencing signatory identity, such as a scanned image of a handwritten signature, a biometric hand- signature, a typed name at the bottom of your email, a ‘click’ to indicate consent of online policies/agreements, a symbol in digital format generated using an application, etc so long as it creates an intention to enter legal relation and be bound by it whilst evidencing signatory identity.

In this post, we will understand the difference between a digital signature and a digital certificate −

Digital Signature

  • It helps verify the authenticity of a specific document.
  • It also helps in verifying the source of a specific document.
  • The document is encrypted when it is being sent.
  • The document is decrypted when it is being received.
  • This encryption and decryption happen using asymmetric keys.
  • It helps provide authentication, non-repudiation and integrity.

Digital Certificate

  • It helps create an identity for a website.
  • It also improves the trustworthy nature of the website.
  • A digital certificate can be issued by a trusted agency known as the CA.
  • The CA follows specific steps such as key generation, registration, verification and creation.
  • It helps provide authentication and security.

Comparison Table Between Digital signature and Electronic signature

Parameter of ComparisonDigital SignatureElectronic Signature
DefinitionIt is a type of electronic signature that extends more security than the e-signature. Its unique feature is that it connects the fingerprint of the document to one’s identity. Any electronic symbol, characters, letters, sound, or process that is linked with a contract and is executed by a person with the intention to sign the document can be defined as an electronic signature.
PurposeIts main purpose is to secure a document.Verifying a document is its main purpose.
SecurityThese are more secure than electronic signatures since they have more security features. These are less secure than digital signatures since they do not have many security features. 
TypesThere are a few types of digital signatures, the most common ones being Microsoft and Adobe PDF.A scanned image, a tick, or a verbal can be the different types of electronic signatures.
RegulationThe certification authorities, i.e, trusted third parties regulate and authorize digital signatures. There is no regulation of electronic signatures and so they are not much favored in different places because of their authenticity.  

Difference Between Digital Signature and Digital Certificate

Digital ElectronicsDigital SignatureWebsite



In this post, we will understand the difference between a digital signature and a digital certificate −

Digital Signature

  • It helps verify the authenticity of a specific document.
  • It also helps in verifying the source of a specific document.
  • The document is encrypted when it is being sent.
  • The document is decrypted when it is being received.
  • This encryption and decryption happen using asymmetric keys.
  • It helps provide authentication, non-repudiation and integrity.

Digital Certificate

  • It helps create an identity for a website.
  • It also improves the trustworthy nature of the website.
  • A digital certificate can be issued by a trusted agency known as the CA.
  • The CA follows specific steps such as key generation, registration, verification and creation.
  • It helps provide authentication and security.

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