In today’s age, contracts and other legal documents are commonly circulated through electronic devices. This has led to the increased use of electronic signatures (commonly referred to as e-signatures) to sign these documents. Understanding the value of e-signatures, as well as the potential pitfalls of using an e-signature, are vital to ensuring security and authenticity of documents.
The rise of e-signatures has been an important development over the years. Having the ability to sign contracts and other legal documents through an electronic device increases efficiency and operates as a time-saving device. Moreover, e-signatures are helpful when dealing with parties that are unable to easily commute and sign the documents in person.
E-signatures can pose potential problems in terms of validity and authenticity. The major problem concerns authenticity due to the risk of forgery. When a signature is not executed with pen and paper in person, it can open the door for a forged signature to be used. Safeguards should be implemented in order to guarantee authenticity, including but not limited to, a password that protects the document. One good practice is to communicate this password only through face-to-face interaction, as this will lessen the risk that the password can be intercepted.
The attorneys at Hannah Sheridan & Cochran, LLP are available to discuss this important issue with you.