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This page includes answers common FAQs around provisioning e-signatures in Secure Messaging. If your question is not answered here, try reviewing the documentation available on this site. If your question is still unanswered, please contact your administrator or contact Secure Messaging support:

What is the difference between e-signatures and digital signatures?

Electronic signatures and digital signatures are commonly misunderstood to mean the same thing when, in reality, they are quite distinct.

Digital signatures are essentially basic, unsecured e-signatures with an added layer of cryptography to protect the integrity of the signature and the original document during transmission. This is accomplished primarily through the use of public key infrastructure (PKI) technology.

Along with guaranteeing the signer’s identity and intent, as well as data integrity, digitally encrypted signatures also provide the assurance of non-repudiation, meaning that the signer cannot claim they did not sign a message while also maintaining that their private key is valid.

The issues with enabling PKI encryption at all points during the exchange is that it requires additional hardware and/or software, thus making it more laborious and costly to implement and use, and it requires complicated exchange of keys between participants, potentially resulting in a lack of uptake as users may be unwilling to use it due to the added complexity.

The choice, thus, was either compromising on security in favor of ease-of-use and lower implementation costs or shelling out for the added cost and weight of digital signature encryption software to achieve true secure file exchange capability.

With the secure e-signature feature in Secure Messaging, there are no compromises required and no additional costs to ensure security. With Secure Messaging, you can seamlessly and securely sign and exchange a full range of document types simply by typing your name and clicking a button—all from within your email program and in a matter of seconds. Secure Messaging e-signatures are legally binding and non-repudiable.


If I am using Secure Messaging, can I still use my existing digital signature solution?

Secure Messaging includes legally binding, non-repudiable secure e-signatures. Requesting a secure e-signature from someone is as simple as attaching a file to your message from the e-signature section of the Delivery Slip. Providing a secure e-signature is as simple as previewing an attachment and typing your name in the field provided.

In addition, the message tracking feature provides fully auditable and totally reliable tracking information for each secure message and e-signature request. The sender is able to see if the message has been read, the date and time it was read, whether the message was replied to or forwarded, and when the document was e-signed—and all without the need for complex digital signature systems.

If you do have a legacy digital signature system in place that you wish to keep using, Secure Messaging integrates with most products available today on the market.


Can e-signature documents be modified?

Once you add a document as an e-signature document in a secure message and send it, it can’t be changed. Recipients can preview it, download a copy, or sign it as is. Users are not able to download and re-upload an altered version. There’s only one file in the secure cloud that gets updated with the signatures as the required signatories sign.


Does the e-signature feature allow for multiple authorization fields in different places of the document or image?

Currently, the e-signature feature adds a certification page at the end of the document where all required signatories are listed with a field next to each where they will type in their names to create an e-signature and authorize the contents of the file.


If a PDF file has a password attached to it, would secure messaging still be able to add the digital signature to it?

We currently do not support password protected PDF documents for e-signature documents.