In our life and business, we sign all kinds of documents and send them out. To improve or simplify document process is always required for efficiency.
Because we have Emails and scanners, to scan a signed document and submit it via Email will save time and money. But the scanned copy may not be accepted. The reason is very simple: the signature on the electronic copy is easy to be copied and pasted by anybody without the original signer's permission, and a signature's electronic image is easy to be obtained from any signed document sent out. The original signer's identity may be stole and misused. Obviously, such an electronic copy with a signature image cannot legally be a replacement of the original hard copy on paper. Moreover, we must print first, sign it, and then scan to obtain an electronic copy.
Is there any way that is convenient and secure for us to sign and submit documents? Let's think further: we can login to our bank accounts and many other systems with user names and passwords, which is used to verify identities. How about a scaned signature protected by a password? In fact, this is called Digital Signature and already officially accepted. For example, on Toronto Goverment's website, many application forms in PDF format are allowed to be signed electronically and submited via Email. Furthermore, the whole process is really from computer to computer and 100% paperless!
Essentially, a digital signature is an electronic file with identity information, including images and text, encrypted by a password. As usual, a new generated digital signature can be used to sign electronic documents within 5 years. But the owner can revoke it at any time before it expires. Whenever an electronic document is signed with a digital signature, the password will be asked before the digital signature is applied and embeded to the document. Such a digitally signed document can be legally treated as an original copy from the signer.
Paperless in office is not a dream. The benefit is not only higher efficiency, but also environment friendly. Moreover, the most attractive thing is anyone with basic computer skills can create his/her own digital signature for FREE! The following video teaches you how to easily generate a digital signature, which is compliant with standards:
While enjoying the benefits from today's advantages of IT, security must be kept in mind. In digital world, password is almost the same as identity. Once the digital signature file is copied and the password is cracked or leaked, the corresponding identity is stole. Therefor, protect yourself with a stronger password.
After an electronic document is digitally signed, it can be sent out via Email. So, no printing is required and there is no hard copy from beginning. In case the original copy is damaged or lost, it has gone for ever. Don't forget to backup timely.
For your information, have backup online, have peace of mind!