A digital signature, as suggested by the name, refers to the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature or a stamped seal. This created using an algorithm or mathematical technique that is used to validate the integrity or authenticity of a message, electronic document such as an Acrobat (.pdf) document or software. This type of signature is used to offer a high level of inherent security to any form of an electronic document. Since it is not possible to sign an electronic document physically, a digital signature comes in handy in such cases.
A digital signature is used to prevent the chances of tampering and fraud in case of any electronic communication that contains digitised documents. Like a manual signature, digital signature assigns identity, origination and status to an electronic document and inherently provides a form of consent by the person signing the document. Not only documents, digital signatures are also used to authorise/encrypt messages, transaction letters or any other form of electronic communication. This type of signature is widely accepted in all application processes and legal work. Whether it is any government organizations, bank, private firm or publishing office, a digital signature has same validity and worth as a more traditional form of handwritten signature on paper.