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E signature technology speeds up many documents, reducing time during the review process and saving money on Extra resources postage and paper, as well as faxing. It also decreases the time it takes to distribute documents to signers and increases the ease with the ability to sign documents from remote locations.

A simple electronic signature is a picture of a typed or handwritten name that is attached to digital documents. These types of electronic signatures do not verify the identity of the signer or contain any authentication or encryption features. An eSignature that is more advanced uses verification technology to create an encrypted hash of the signature data and links it to a public keys associated with the signature’s electronic identification. The recipient is able to decrypt the hash, verify it to the public key, and confirm that the document has not been tampered since it was signed.

A company can enhance the security of electronic signatures by using additional authentication methods, including passwords two factor authentication, passwords and biometrics. These types of verification are utilized when there is more risk that the authenticity of the signature will be challenged.

Agencies should give special consideration to long-term, electronically-signed records that preserve legal rights. These records could require a longer software cycle, and it is crucial to ensure the integrity of records when it comes to upgrading or migration processes. NARA’s guidance on records scheduling can assist agencies in determining the proper retention period for these records.

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