April 18, 2023

Secure Your PDF Documents with PAdES Signatures

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Secure Your PDF Documents with PAdES Signatures

PAdES (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures) is a signature format that is used to sign PDF documents. It is based on the PAdES standard, which was developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to provide a secure and reliable way to sign electronic documents.

The benefits of PAdES signature

PAdES signatures offer several benefits, including:

  • Long-term validity: PAdES signatures are designed to be valid for a long period of time, ensuring that the signed document remains valid and verifiable even after several years.
  • Document integrity: PAdES signatures ensure that the document has not been tampered with after it was signed. Any changes made to the document after it has been signed will invalidate the signature.
  • Non-repudiation: PAdES signatures provide non-repudiation, meaning that the signer cannot deny having signed the document.
  • Interoperability: PAdES signatures are compatible with various signature formats and can be used in different applications.

PAdES signatures are a reliable and secure way to sign PDF documents. They offer long-term validity, document integrity, non-repudiation, and interoperability. They are ideal for situations where document authenticity and integrity are critical, such as legal, financial, healthcare, and government documents. By using PAdES signatures, you can ensure that your documents are signed securely and can be trusted for years to come.

In which countries can you use a PAdES signature?

PAdES is a signature format that is used globally, and its usage is not limited to any specific country. However, the adoption of PAdES and electronic signatures, in general, may vary from country to country, depending on local laws and regulations.

In Europe, the use of PAdES signatures is widespread due to the adoption of the eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services) regulation, which provides a legal framework for electronic signatures and trust services. The eIDAS regulation has been implemented in all 27 European Union member states, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, which are part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

In the United States, the use of electronic signatures is regulated by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). While these laws do not specify the use of any specific signature format, including PAdES, they provide a legal framework for the use of electronic signatures in various transactions.

In Asia, the use of electronic signatures is also gaining traction, with countries such as Singapore, South Korea, and Japan implementing laws and regulations to support their adoption.

In summary, while the usage of PAdES signatures is not limited to any specific country, its adoption may vary depending on the local laws and regulations in place. However, with the increasing reliance on digital technologies and the need for secure and reliable ways to sign electronic documents, the use of PAdES and other electronic signature formats is likely to continue to grow globally.

How to check the validity of PAdES signatures?

To check the validity of a PAdES signature, you need to verify the signature using a digital signature verification tool. Here are the general steps you can take to check the validity of a PAdES signature:

  • Open the PDF document that contains the PAdES signature using a PDF viewer that supports digital signature verification. Adobe Acrobat Reader is one such viewer that supports this feature.
  • Locate the signature panel in the PDF viewer or click on the signature field in the document. This panel will typically display information about the signature, such as the signer's name, the signing time, and the signature status.
  • Click on the signature panel to open the signature properties dialog box. This dialog box will display detailed information about the signature, such as the signing certificate details and the signature validation status.
Show certificate
Validating PAdES signature in Adobe Reader
  • Verify that the signature validation status is "valid" or "verified." If the validation status is "invalid" or "not verified," then the signature may have been tampered with or may not be authentic.
  • Check the signature certificate details to ensure that the certificate is trusted and has not expired. You can usually do this by clicking on the certificate details button in the signature properties dialog box.
  • If the signature is not valid, you may need to contact the signer or the signing organization to resolve the issue.

By following these steps, you can check the validity of a PAdES signature and ensure that the signed document is authentic and has not been tampered with. All PDFs signed with Agrello signature will also appear as valid and green at Adobe Acrobat Reader signature checker.


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