With the onset of the digital age, emphasis has been put on the speed at which data is processed and shared.
It has become essential to the success of any business to retain and improve upon the ability to transact swiftly and operate effectively.
It also becomes increasingly important that the sharing of information is done in a protected manner. A common occurrence in any business is the signing of documents.
From approving stock purchases to signing contract mergers, there will always be some signing on all levels of the business hierarchy.
To fast-track this process, electronic signatures were born.
An electronic signature (e-signature) is a symbol that represents your name and can be attached to a file, document, or contract. When used correctly, they’re legally binding.
Meanwhile, you can learn more online about the technicalities and benefits of electronic signatures, so you’ll be familiar with how to sign a Google doc.
On the other hand, it’s important to know your options for signing electronically because not all methods are ideal for every situation.
Here are some ways you can sign documents electronically:
- Using your phone
One of the biggest advantages of using an app is that it lets you sign documents right from your phone or tablet.
You don’t need to print and scan a document, and then use the printed copy as a physical signature. Several apps are available to help you sign electronic documents; they’re all similar in functionality.
However, they may have slight differences depending on their platform (Android or iOS) and how they’re accessed (email versus web browser).
Also, some apps have additional features like eSignature templates or QR code scanning.
Another thing they all have in common is the usage of a stylus. You can use a stylus to sign electronic documents on most mobile devices, tablets, and laptops.
Furthermore, the same stylus you use to write on your tablet or smartphone screen can also be used for this purpose.
- Print, sign, and scan.
This method defeats the purpose of creating a paperless office environment but is still a standard method nonetheless. It’s accomplished by:
- Printing the document.
- Signing the document.
- Scanning the document into your computer (or use an app like DocuSign).
- Send it to your client and/or colleagues. They’ll receive an email alerting them that they have new documents in their inboxes and can view, sign, or comment as necessary.
- After you’ve received their responses, check over everything again before archiving the final version of your document.
- Use your finger or a mouse
This method allows you to draw your signature on a screen using your finger or mouse.
Your signature will be saved as a digital document that can be used in various ways. In addition, you can save it as an image or file for future use.
On the other hand, suppose you don’t want to draw out every letter of your name.
There are also apps available where all you have to do is type in the letters, and it’ll automatically turn them into an image of your signature.
- Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader DC
The two programs you can use to sign electronic documents are Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader DC.
Adobe Acrobat is a tool for creating and editing documents in portable document format (PDF). Meanwhile, Adobe Reader DC is a tool for viewing and printing PDF documents.
Both products are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Use certified electronic signature software
If you’re looking to sign electronic documents, the safest option is to use the certified electronic signature software. The U.S. government provides a list of accredited providers on its website.
Hence, these companies have demonstrated that their products meet the highest security standards in the industry.
These security standards include protecting your data and complying with regulations, like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The next step is to find a program that’s easy to install and simple enough for non-technical users to understand.
You don’t want something that takes hours or requires a doctoral degree in computer science before someone can start using it.
You’ll need to decide what’s best for you to sign electronic documents. Likewise, you should consider what tools are available and which might help your situation.
With so many different tools and applications available, it can be difficult to know what’s best for you.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to explore as you start your search for the perfect solution.
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