Q.Are E-Signatures Secure?
A.Security experts currently favor the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) as the most secure and reliable method of signing contracts online. PKI uses an algorithm to encrypt online documents so that they will be accessible only to authorized parties. Each party has a "key" to read and sign the document, thus ensuring that no one else will be able to sign fraudulently. Many other e-signature systems are still in the process of development, including a method for digitally recording a fingerprint and hardware that electronically records your signature.
The electronic versions of some legal documents and contracts, however, will not be considered valid. To date, the following types of documents must still be created in the paper world and signed in ink:
- wills, codicils and trusts
- documents relating to adoption, divorce and other family law matters
- court orders, notices and other documents (pleadings, motions)
- notices of cancellation or termination of utility services
- notices of default, repossession, foreclosure or eviction
- notices of cancellation or termination of health or life insurance benefits
- product recall notices affecting health or safety, and
- documents required by law to accompany the transportation of hazardous materials.