Why you need to sign documents yourself
By Irene Mutuzo
Signing thousands of documents can be such a tiring experience; not just because it is tiring but also quite time-consuming. To this end, many of us will often ask another party to sign on our behalf or in some cases even share our digital signatures with someone else to sign on documents we do not really consider that important. For example, if it is not a document related to finances, a land title, or property we think the risk of someone signing on our behalf is not that big.
Although giving another party rights to sign using our signature could be the most logical thing to do and the shortcut to the long monotonous signing process, it pauses a lot of risk to not just our reputations but the people and institutions we represent.
A signature is not just a simple graphical representation of our names. It is much more than this. It represents our identity on every document that holds it. One’s signature silently communicates to other parties who read a document and shows that one is in agreement with the contents of any document they sign against. This means, should there be issues with the document in question, the person whose signature is represented is always held accountable.
So why should you always ensure to sign the documents you need to sign yourself?
1. You know where your identity is to be represented
imagine a situation where your signature was used to sign off a letter you absolutely had no idea about and you were put in a position to explain why you wrote that letter or questioned about the contents of the letter? What would happen? When you sign documents yourself, it is advisable to thoroughly read the contents of what you are signing against. This helps you to know what your identity will represent and enables you to defend that document should you need to.
2. Protects you from fraud
when one shares their signature with another person which is in most cases digitally, they expose their identity to fraud. All over the world, there continues to be a big increase in identity fraud cases. Clear evidence of this is a report from the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service that revealed that identity impersonation by fraudsters rose by 99% in 2019 (Anti-Corruption Digest, 2019). In addition, Cajnews, Africa (2021) reported that identity fraud is a growing concern, highlighted by the global Bio-metric security sector set to reach over US$67,79 billion by the year 2025. Before you share your signature with another person just imagine the catastrophe that would befall you if it ended up in the hands of a fraudster who could use your identity to rob you and others of millions.
3. The deed of signing also represents your integrity
imagine you received a card from someone with their signature and approached them to thank them for the card only to realize they even had no idea about it. When we do not sign the documents we need to, we are not being true to the people who will receive these documents. This often happens with certificates which receivers consider very important and valuable especially if they hold a signature. Remember, practicing integrity does not stop at the tangible acts we do but even when we choose to be truthful and sign when we must.
Now that we know why we need to sign and be sole custodians of our signatures, how do we handle having to flexibly sign many documents?
Prior to COVID-19, many documents had to be signed physically. However, like many other aspects, signing today can also be safely done digitally. The act of signing a document is important, as the act that represents the signing. To adapt to the times, we need to move this “act” to digital- as it is more secure and can be time-stamped and tracked. Should you have a document you need to sign remotely click here to be guided on how to sign it electronically. This is guaranteed to ease and reduce the amount of time you spend during the signing process.
If you are a skill trainer or institution administrator, we at Diwala have also made it easy and simple for you to digitally sign thousands of certificates with your digital handwritten signature in a few seconds. Furthermore, the act of signing is digital and you do not need to meet physically or to touch paper to get certificates signed.
When you use the Diwala platform, the certificates you issue contains cryptographic signatures that enables another party to verify the authenticity and your signature on the certificate. This is mainly because cryptographic signatures are time and date-stamped, and are digitally traceable. In addition to these types of signatures, you can now use the Diwala platform to make a digital handwritten representation of your signature. To add your digital handwritten signature, you simply need to use your finger, and sign on your phone or tablet screen. Then you can apply it at once to all the certificates you need to sign and issue.
Now that you are well equipped with all the vital information you need to know as far as signing documents is concerned, make the right choice to protect your signature and your identity beginning today.
Want to learn more about how our Digital certificates work and the value they give? Check out our previous article — link here.
To try out the platform and issue certificates, click here kindly follow the Diwala guide to navigate the platform.
Remember, your signature is your identity. Have control of it!