In today’s digital world, where incidents of data tampering and forgery are increasing rapidly, it has become imperative to protect any data that is sent online. For the safety and security purpose of the data, Digital Signatures are expanding in popularity amongst the professionals. It validates the authenticity of a document, file, or software.
What is a Digital Signature?
The digital signature implements a mathematical pin or algorithm to sign, and it also validates the authenticity of a document, file, or software without using pen and paper. A digital signature is used to ensure that the data that is digitally sent belongs to a designated source, and it reaches the receiver in the same way as an envelope seal does. The digital signature is a small block of data attached to documents you sign and this signature is used to certify or approve documents.
Why do we need Digital Signature?
Traditionally, sending a physically signed document from one country to another via a courier was a time-consuming process. Moreover, there was a wastage of paper while transmitting the documents.
On the other hand, while using a digital signature, you can electronically send the texts in a matter of minutes and save lots of time and money. Various researches were conducted globally to understand the significance of digital signature, and it was concluded that you could save an entire working week for any professional by using digital signatures.
How does Digital Signature Work?
Digital signatures are established on Key Infrastructure and generate two keys, a Public Key and a Private Key. The private key is considered to be confidential and is kept by the signer. On the other hand, the receiver has access to the public key and the authority to decrypt the message.
It can be further elaborated as, suppose there is a person named Peter, who wants to send an encrypted message to Lee. Here, Peter has the private key to sign the document digitally. Before encrypting the message using the private key, an algorithm named ‘MD algorithm’ encrypts the message to be sent by Peter into a 128/256-bit format known as a hash value. Then Peter’s private key encrypts this hash value. On completion of both the processes, Peter’s message is said to be digitally signed.
On Lee’s side, the digitally signed message is decrypted with the help of the signer’s public key. The public key decrypts the message and transforms it into another hash value. Then the message is opened with a program(e.g., MS Word, Adobe Reader), and a comparison is made with this hash value to the original hash value, which was generated on Peter’s side. If the hash value on Lee’s side matches with the hash value created on Peter’s hand. After this, the message is opened, and if both hash values match, it displays the message “The document has been modified since this signature was applied.” If both the hash values do not match, it shows the following message:
“The document has not been modified since this signature was not applied.”
The growth in data tampering incidents has caused a significant increase in the acceptance of digital signatures. The latest research depicts that the global Digital Signature market will expand to 24.2% from 2017 to 2025. Moreover, digital signatures are considered equivalent to handwritten signatures in many countries. Bearing in mind the perks involved along with the potential dangers, it is safe to conclude that the digital signature is the next-gen solution for potential digital frauds.
The most important thing we should keep in mind before designing a logo is the creativity. Basically, your logo should present what your entity exactly do. For example, if you are thinking of designing a logo for real estate, ideally, buildings or towers should be a part of logo. However, latest trends are keeping the logo very simple and flexible which should be independent of background color. Also, logos today are including alphabets or name of the business itself as a logo. P.S client's requirment here is a crucial part and should be considered and understood before designing. All the best.
At first instance, the word “Digital signatures” sounds like some electronic signature scribbled on some digital documents. However, it is not the same. Digital signatures have broad application in the e-world. Every day tons of confidential documents are transferred over the internet, but it is also true that it is exposed to hackers.
To protect these files from hackers and transfer them securely, a digital signature software was introduced. It involves the use of mathematical pins or algorithms to sign and validate the authenticity of a document, file, or software instead of pen and paper.
A digital signature ensures that the file(s) sent digitally belongs to a designated source and reaches the intended receiver in its original format without any tampering.
Digital signatures involve Public Key and Private Key. The private key is kept by the signer, and it should be kept securely. On the other hand, the receiver must have the public key to decrypt the message.
Digital signatures have high-level security criteria and authenticity. There is a legal binding in many countries for digital signatures, and they follow the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) security level.
There are various digital signature tools available in the market,
1) Panda doc:
Pricing: Free/ Paid:$9-$49
It provides high-security for data transfer. The user's data is encrypted in transit and at rest and then stored in a SOC, FISMA, and PCI DSS Level 1 compliant cloud.
Pricing: Free/ Paid: € 7-$12
With agents stationed around the globe, Signrequest provides some best customer support. The user can send more than one document to a recipient at one time, within a single email and signing flow.
3) Zoho sign
Pricing: Free/ Paid : $10- $18
Zoho sign has a simple user interface with robust features. It is laced with the most current e-signature laws: ESIGN and eIDAS. The individual can track every step of the document signing process with the comprehensive audit trail.
Pricing: Free/ Paid : $29 onwards
The wide selection of tools enables users to operate seamlessly and collaborate in real-time. The dotloop helps in the sharing and collaboration process by adding documents to the loop - no need to upload huge PDFs and email.
Pricing: Trial version/Paid: £19- £149
Users can sign and send documents on the move with their tablet-based app or our Progressive Web Mobile App. It integrates with a variety of tools, syncing them with your customer’s info and making it easier to use an e signature in your day to day business.
Pricing: Paid : - $2000- $4000
It allows users to send documents out for signature via text message and get a response back instantly. Not just text, their innovation is stretched even to voice. The eSign via voice, enables customers to sign, affirm, and consent to your products and services from their telephone.
There is a long list of digital signature tools, and the choice of the software solely depends on your personal preferences. There are also some good free and open-source digital signature tools.
Free and open-source digital signature tools
Digital signatures should not be confused with digital certificates. A digital certificate is an electronic document that holds the digital signature of the issuing certificate authority. It binds together a public key with an identity and can be used to verify that a public key belongs to a particular person or entity.
The Digital Signature Certificates are classified into three classes.
A hashtag is an excellent way for individuals and brands to make their social posts more visible and increase engagement. By using hashtag cleverly with keywords, a brand can quickly generate leads.
What is a hashtag and how it works
A “hashtag” is a phrase or words with a hash (#) sign in front of it. It is widely used on social media networks to find the content of particular interest searched by users.
Hashtags to social media networks are what keywords to Google. Whenever a user includes a hashtag to their post, it’s able to be indexed by the social network and easily discovered by other users. Hashtags are used to promote business, events, products, and a myriad of other things.
Hashtags can double your brand engagement and increase the clickthrough rate.
( Image source: Twitter Unified Infotech)
However, the phrase or word of your hashtags depends on what is the purpose of your hashtag marketing.
Usually, it is categorized as below:
Here is the example of community hashtag and specific hashtag. The company targets the community concerned about #healthylifestyle as well as people interested in #fitnessapp.
(image source: Unified Infotech twitter handler)
Number of hashtags recommended for various Social Media Platforms
There is no specific standard for hashtag usage, but the number of hashtag words generally used for social media marketing are:
How to use hashtags for your business?
What NOT to do while using Hashtags
Promoting business through social media marketing demands consistency. To achieve marketing goals in the set timeline, both small and large businesses rely on a digital marketing agency.
Here is the list of the top popular digital marketing agency:
Final thought: Hashtag definitely enhances your online presence, but using the right strategy is the key to its success.
Web-app is an access point to unleash the incredible power of the cyber world. It behaves like a magnet to pull the virtual audience on a massive scale, but at the same time, if the web-app is lousy and out of context the audience would not stick to it for long.
It becomes the developer’s job to ensure that each piece falls in the line and make it appealing. There are some outstanding open-source tools that assist developers in building web-app effortlessly.
Before we take an overview of the tools to build web-app, there is one thing I would like to make clear between web-apps and website.
Though both accessed through the internet, there is a thin line between web-apps and website. Unlike the website, web-app has an interactive program where visitors or users can take action. For example, Facebook or Gmail, where users comment on the Facebook post or use gmails to send mail to friends. It requires users to perform an action, while the websites only give information about the product or service- BBC news or Netflix. There is no user action involved.
So, if you are designing a web-app, many things need to consider frameworks, design & usability, database design, development approach, etc.
For developing a web application, there are three core areas.
Webapp development is carried out in 5 steps,
For large businesses, there would be no issues, but small scale business faces a challenge to build web-app as they sustain on a thin budget and a small team. For them knowing some opensource tools is a big deal.
The opensource tool implementation mostly depends on the business requirements rather than small or large business operations. If you know the requirements, it is easy to sort out the tools.
List of opensource tools for building small web applications
1) Free Prototyping tools
( Image source:justuxdesign.com)
Before you execute a web application idea in a real environment, you would like to know how it will look or behave. For that, there are many prototyping designing tools you would like to add to your list.
2) IDE- Netbeans, Eclipse, Intellij
For writing code, testing, and debugging, the developer uses IDE. It brings more productivity when a programmer chooses IDE over a text editor. IDE that contains all tools, including the compiler and plug-ins are preferred more than others. The choice of IDE is also based on features such as an integrated development environment that allows to work with more than one programming language or supports mobile-based applications. Below is a list of some well-known IDEs used in the industry.
4) Front-end/ Backend Framework- AngularJS, NodeJS, Laravel
5) CSS Preprocessor - LESS
LESS is an open-source CSS preprocessor used for styling the website. LESS enhances the capability of CSS with the use of variables, mixins, operators, and functions. It helps web developers/designers to reduce repetitive coding. The other popular CSS includes Sass and Stylus.
6) CMS- Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress
CMS enables you to create, edit, publish and manage website pages and blogs on a single interface. Below mentioned are some of the best free and open-source CMS software for your small web-application. These CMS also comes with many other features such as web-traffic analysis, SEO plugins, open API, W3C compliance, mobile support, and so on.
7) DBMS- SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL
SQL, MySQL, and PostgreSQL are some of the popular free and opensource database management software. It handles your mission-critical data succinctly. SQL or MySQL is sufficient for your small web app; however, there are few more alternatives if you are keen about performance, speed, and scalability.
8) XAMPP- Local server for testing
XAMPP stands for cross-platform (X), Apache (A), MariaDB (M), PHP (P), and Perl (P). It is an open-source web server with all the tools and language support built-in to it. It is an all-in-one package, available for Windows, Linux and MAC systems. With XAMPP, you can build a test environment to test the web-application. The local server is cost-effective for small and medium-sized companies. Xampp is easy to install and use.
9) Free web hosting
There are many free web hosting sites, but it is NOT recommended. Their services are totally unreliable, and free hosts can remove the site from the server anytime. Also, there will be no customer support to answer your query. A premium host service or cloud hosting services may be expensive, but in the long run, it is worth it.
Other topics that might interest you,
We are mindful of the reality that the Coronavirus outbreak has shaken the economy, and we would have to face severe circumstances of this situation in the near future. Companies across the globe have started taking measures to come up healthy after the pandemic ends. Unanticipated twists and turns will be exposed with each news cycle, and we will only have a complete picture in retrospect.
Based on the on-going analysis, I have enlisted some of the learnings that could help businesses for responding to unfolding events, communicating, and extracting and applying learnings.
Update and Modify Plans Regularly
Events are disclosing with astounding speed to date, and the picture seems to be changing daily. So in such a dynamic world, the best we could do is keep track of the changes taking place in the surroundings and, respectively updating or reframing the overall perspective.
Be Cautious of the Hype Cycles/News Cycles:
News channels often focus on what’s new rather than the big picture, and they sometimes don’t distinguish between facts and rumors. When exposed to rapidly changing information, whether it is the latest technology or an emerging crisis, the company should be prepared to focus on weak signals, then to emerging issues. By concentrating on weak signals, the organization gets to have a calibrated view of their existing problems and finding a solution to it.
Pay Less Attention to Spreading Information
In our connected world, employees have direct access to many sources of information. They further forward this information with their colleagues, which might not always result as productive for the company. So, the companies should ensure that the employees do not invest much time in creating and spreading such information.
Looking at the sudden downfall in the economy, it is crucial to make your business future-proof by adapting the latest business models and technologies. It is a prerequisite to thinking two steps ahead while continuing to deal with the current situation. Companies need to plan on how they could better position themselves and recover after the outbreak. It is an opportunity to improvise existing business models and strengthen the business’s core competencies.
Redesignate or Train Employees
Organizations must continue to upgrade the skills of workers and efficiently utilize workforce resources. Businesses can enhance their employee’s capability and productivity by using human resources. Firms should focus on reassigning employees for research and development to identify new business opportunities. These opportunities will enhance the existing business services and give rise to upcoming business opportunities.
Maintain a Budget To Ride The Recovery Wave
Maintaining cash flow is one of the most crucial parameters for unforeseen expenses. Most of the companies worldwide are dealing with monetary issues and facing difficulties in managing the resources. Hence, it is advisable for businesses to prepare, plan, and fund their cash cushion. The organizations should save enough capital considering the available credit, payroll need, riskiness of the business, and various other factors.
Start Prepping Up in Advance for Next Crises
COVID-19 is not a one-off challenge. Organizations should expect additional phases to the current epidemic in the future. By conducting an in-depth analysis of the current on-going situation, it has been evident that preparation and preemption are the keys to success. The time is right to start thinking about the effects of the pandemic on businesses and taking active measures to prevent it.
As discussed above, it is still a challenge to know what the future holds for us, but proper analysis and planning would help your business survive. Research says that half of the Fortune 500 companies were started during a bear market or recession. So, the point here is that if the organizations utilize their resources in a futuristic manner, they could come out strong through the crises.
Registering at GoodFirms is easier.
You just have to visit the GoodFirms website and opt for a quick signup at GoodFirms - Research & Reviews of IT Companies & Software
When you will click on the signup button, you will get a page directing towards the registration formalities that are needed to become a registered member of GoodFirms. Fill up the formalities with the details required.
After putting the initial registration related details, you have to choose whether you want your firm to get registered in the company service category or software category for any genre in IT.
When you register and join GoodFirms as a particular type of software product or service providing firm, you will get a company profile page automatically created in your company’s name. You can insert your company’s all information, including your firm’s focus area, your company’s contact number and location details, and details of your team members. There you can build your entire company’s work portfolio. The questions related to your company, if asked in the GoodFirms community, will also be available there for a further read.
Coronavirus is at high-rise today. China, Italy, Spain, the USA, and many other countries are devastated due to this deadly disease. When the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it as a global emergency, governments of all affected nations have requested their citizens to stay at home and quarantine.
Lockdowns are imposed in almost all the affecting countries. Special measures are undertaken to supply food and essential services to the homes, hospitals and, other needy ones if they are stuck somewhere.
As per the news channels reports, the epicenter of Corona, Wuhan, is opening soon for all of its routine workflows. Things are gradually resuming there, but Italy, Spain, and America are still suffering nations reporting hundreds of deaths every day. Their economies are thrashed brutally, and their supreme heads have declared their inability to cope up with the situation. India is under an observation these days.
When all significant nations have locked down their main cities due to the coronavirus pandemic, brands across the globe are worried as to how the entire situation will affect ecommerce as a whole. According to Technomic, a global consulting and research firm reports that the stock market has become increasingly volatile. More than 52% of the consumers are maintaining self-distancing and avoiding crowds, and 32% are not leaving their homes unless there is an emergency.
Coronavirus is affecting eCommerce Business. How?
1. Severe disruption to supply chains is the most apparent and immediate business impact of the corona virus pandemic on the businesses. People are forced into self-quarantine, and this led to a partial and full shutdown of some companies, plants, and factories. For example, Foxconn, a primary manufacturer of Apple iPhones has shut down its production in China, and thus, Apple experienced shortages of its iPhone supply in the country.
2. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, several of the most important tech-conferences got to cancel, and it is likely to result in numerous missed partnership opportunities for the businesses. For example, Facebook canceled its F8 developer conference and Global Marketing Summit. Google has also rescheduled the Google Cloud Next event to online only. As per PredictHQ, the cancellation of the tech events has incurred more than $1billion of direct economic losses.
3. The need for remote interactions has increased during Coronavirus pandemic, and it has highlighted the need for 5G technology to improve connection density. Many organizations have given the ‘Work From Home’ facility to their employees. Hence, telehealth and teleconferencing facilities should be given high importance.
4. WHO has suggested consumers use contactless payment options considering the pandemic. People in rural areas still lack operating such facilities and thus, altering their shopping options or minimizing their usages that is further affecting the ecommerce businesses.
5. Due to coronavirus outbreak, up to 85% of the brick-and-mortar retail shopping turned into digital shopping, leading to creating the logistic challenges to the companies. The delays in supplies due to over-crowding demand has also become a challenge for the businesses these days.
6. Delivery services across the board for on-demand goods, food delivery, and grocery are observing an increase in new customers. Still, contactless supply, minimized risk of infection have become a challenge to the businesses to maintain consumer’s trust.
7. National Retail Federation in the US noted a downfall in the business due to falling consumer spending. The payment companies like PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard are revising their revenue estimates downward.
How can you protect your business during Coronavirus Pandemic?
If you have an ecommerce business, you can still protect yourself from this pandemic. Due to the progression of COVID-19, here is what the experts suggest for the best of your business’s survival.
1. Be wise and transparent. Do not alienate your audience.
2. Do not over-communicate. The consumer confidence level is quite low these days.
3. Diversify your supply chain.
4. Keep advertising.
5. Focus on virtual products.
6. Get social connections with consumers.
Build the trust of your customers. All the above-given tips have the same essence i.e. build your customer’s trust. It will turn back to you positively when the situation improves.
An e-signature or digital signature is often used in the documents to avoid physically signing it. A document need not be printed, then signed, then scanned and sent somewhere if you can digitally sign it.
Who can digitally sign/e-sign?
The digital signatures are always allowed through a validating token. This token was always in the form of a USB drive/ software which authenticates the person only if he is allowed to make an e-signature. There are multiple security measures applied to avoid the forging of e-signatures and for validation as well. An invalid digital signature won't be validated if you open the document in an acrobat reader.
How can you acquire a digital signature token?
If you are in an organization, chances have they have already affiliated with some kind of token service already, you need to approach your administration for this purpose. Apart from this, you can get a token service for your organization/ small business by contacting any token service in your region.
This is not a personal product which we can use to sign anywhere. This may be a thing in the future but for now, digital signatures are bounded for use by company officials.