Pen and paper was once the only way to sign, but as electronic documents become more prevalent and more businesses try to be paperless, there are significant risks to consumers. Our partners at WTMJ in Milwaukee spoke with an expert and explored some of the risks that come with electronic signing. One key problem is the ability to replicate electronic signatures and use them repeatedly as forgeries. Some users even store electronic signatures on their mobile devices for convenience. If your device gets infected with malware, a hacker could steal your signature and pass it off for any contract they like. Digitally signed documents present another threat as well: Once your signature has been submitted, a contract could be manipulated, with your identical signature still attached.

The best ways to protect your signature? For starters, never sign a contract you haven’t read, and make sure you get a copy as soon as it’s signed for your records. This will ensure someone can’t try to pass off a modified version later.

When it comes to protecting your electronic signature, make sure you’re signing a contract with a reputable company you’ve researched. If you can’t establish that it is a legitimate and honest company, you probably shouldn’t sign a contract.

If you’re going to store an electronic signature, make sure you’re using a service that is well reviewed and committed to keeping it secure. If you store your electronic signature on a mobile device, make sure you protect it with a password and avoid downloading non-reputable apps or suspicious email attachments.

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