Digital Signature

What Does Digital Signature Mean?

A digital signature guarantees the authenticity of an electronic document or message in digital communication and uses encryption techniques to provide proof of original and unmodified documentation.

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Digital signatures are used in e-commerce, software distribution, financial transactions and other situations that rely on forgery or tampering detection techniques.

A digital signature is also known as an electronic signature.

Techopedia Explains Digital Signature

A digital signature is applied and verified, as follows:

  • The document or message sender (signer) or public/private key supplier shares the public key with the end user(s).
  • The sender, using his private key, appends the encrypted signature to the message or document.
  • The end user decrypts the document and verifies the signature, which lets the end user know that the document is from the original sender.
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.