What is the Difference Between an Electronic Signature and a Digital Signature?
You may have noticed that the terms "electronic signature" and "digital signature" are often used interchangeably. Still, there is a difference between the two. A digital signature is always electronic, but an electronic signature is not always digital.
A digital signature works with encryption technology using a cryptographic mechanism that provides additional security for the document and guarantees its integrity. It can be described as a code that is attached to a message or document ensuring that the message or document hasn’t been tampered with during transit from the sender to the receiver. The digital signature may be considered a digital version of the ordinary handwritten signature with higher levels of assurance. In many European Countries, a qualified electronic signature (QES) is equivalent to a handwritten signature.
An electronic signature, on the other hand, can simply be an image of your signature that you paste into a Word or PDF document. Even your email signature is an electronic signature. In other regions such as Europe, the term electronic signature or e-Signature refers to a cryptographic signature that follows strict regulations such as the European Union eIDAS or Swiss ZertES providing a trusted, secure, and auditable signature.