Security Issues Driving the Non-acceptance of Electronic Signatures
Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines security as the quality or state of being secure, freedom from danger and freedom from fear or anxiety. In the context of electronic signatures, there is always a danger, fear or anxiety regarding their unauthorised or malicious use. The protection from such unauthorised and malicious usage requires some process, device or mechanism that ensures the confidentiality of electronic signatures. Note that there are three basic ways to secure electronic signatures: through the use of passwords where an electronic signature is stored on the hard disk of a computer, using portable information storage devices (PISDs) and using biometric devices. The underlying theoretical underpinning for these three methods of securing electronic signatures relates to the three ways of authenticating a user: by something he/she knows, by something he/she has and by something he/she is. Security is also achieved through a secure transmission process including the Internet such that a document signed through an electronic signature is not tampered with by a third person and reaches the recipient in the form in which it left the signatory.