Why use encryption and digital signatures

Using certificates to encrypt and digitally sign documents provides the following assurances about document transmissions:

  • Only the addressee can read the message, not any unauthorized persons. Encryption provides this assurance.
  • The message cannot be tampered with. That is, data cannot be changed, added, or deleted without you knowing it. A document's digital signature provides this assurance.
  • Partners who send you documents are genuinely who they claim to be. Likewise, when partners receive documents signed by you, they can be confident the documents came from you. A document's digital signature provides this assurance.
  • The partners who send you documents cannot claim they did not send them. This is referred to as non-repudiation of origin. A document's digital signature provides this assurance.
  • Partners to whom you send documents cannot claim they did not receive them. This is referred to as non-repudiation of receipt. A signed document acknowledgment provides this assurance.

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