What is the best way to know if your signature stamp is legal or not?




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Digital stamps and signatures are a boon to many business people today. It makes them feel more within reach of their customers. Legal digital stamps and signatures can be put on your website, emails and documents. But there are some things about the digital stamp that are unknown to most people.

If your digital stamp and signature are illegal, it will not work on important legal documents like contracts, deeds etc. For example, if the digital stamp used was created by an individual without any sign-off or acknowledgement from an authorized corporation, then it is an illegal image.

Who legalizes digital stamps and signatures?

The legalization of digital stamps and signatures is a process that involves the use of an authorized state agent. The authorized state agent (Certifying Authority) can be a notary public, a justice of the peace, or a court clerk. The authorized state agent's role is to review the presented document for legalization and verify it comes from an official source.

The state you live in governs who can be an authorized state agent. For example, only notaries public may provide legalization services in some states. In contrast, other states allow justices of the peace or clerks of court to offer their services as well.

Here are some things you need to be sure about to establish the legality of your stamp and signature:

Find out whether your digital stamps and signatures are legally binding where you live

The legal status of digital stamps and signatures varies from state to state. Some states allow them to be used as proof of identity when dealing with government agencies, but others do not. Contact a local attorney to determine whether your digital stamps and signatures are legally binding where you live.

Is the digital signature unique, and does it have a second validation that only the system can read?

The first validation checks if the public key belongs to the person signing the document. The second validation checks if the digital signature matches the one stored in a database (or "blockchain").
  • The first step is done by comparing the hash of your document with the hash of your public key. If they match, then it means that you have access to the private key, which corresponds to your public key. This proves that you are who you say you are.
  • The second step is done by comparing your digital signature with the one stored in a database (or "blockchain"). If they match, then it means that your document has not been altered since it was signed.

Do you keep a copy of the digital signature and stamp in a database or storage device to prove that it was yours?

Suppose you're a business, and you are required by law to keep a copy of the digital signature and stamp. In that case, you should keep a copy in your database or storage device.

For example, in many countries, including the US and Australia, businesses are required by law to keep copies of their digital signatures on file as part of their recordkeeping obligations.

However, if you're not required by law to keep a copy of your digital signatures, then it's up to you whether or not you want to do so.

The digital signature must be created with a certificate issued by a certification authority within the chain of trust. Not all certificates are accepted or legal

The digital signature must be created with a certificate issued by a certification authority within the chain of trust. The certificate must contain the name of the certificate owner, and it must have an expiration date. For example, suppose you want to sign a document with your digital signature. In that case, you can use either an X.509 certificate or a Self-Signed Certificate (SSC).

Suppose you want to sign a document with your organization's digital signature. In that case, you need to use an X.509 certificate from a CA.

To be considered valid, the digital signature must be created with a certificate issued by a trusted CA within the chain of trust. A trusted CA has been placed in your Trusted Root Certificate Authorities store on your computer. The Trusted Root Certificate Authorities store certificates from CAs trusted by default in Windows and other operating systems.

Is there proof that the certificate used to create your digital signature is real?

There are many ways to help reduce the likelihood that your digital signature has been compromised. The most common method is to use a Certificate Authority (CA) certificate to sign your certificate.

A CA certificate is a public key certificate from a CA that can be used to verify other certificates. In this case, you would use it to verify your own digital signature. The benefit of using a CA certificate is that if someone could create their fake CA certificate and sign their own digital signature, they would also be able to create their own fake CA certificate and use it to verify your digital signature.

Look into the technology you are using to create your signature and stamp

If the technology is not compliant with industry standards and regulations, it is likely not legal.

Another way to check on legality is to see if other companies have used similar technology before. If so, this may mean that the product is safe for use. Suppose no other companies have used similar technology before. In that case, it may be time to do additional research about whether or not your product is legal.

Takeaway

You need to be able to prove at any point in time that your digital signature is legal. Digital signatures are a promising technology with many benefits to the average user. But before you commit to digital signatures as your preferred way of signing documents, you must understand how they work and how they relate to other types of electronic signatures, such as self-signed digital certificates. Hopefully, this will give you a basic understanding of digital signatures, how they can help you, and your options when approaching this technology.


Date of publication 2022-06-02