Digital signature: Information Technology act, 2000 under section 24 , provides the legal sanctity to the digital signature that ensures the authenticity of electronic document over web.
Class 2 digital signatures: Certifying authority issues 4 classes of public key certificate according to the use and verification methods of underlying certificate. Class 2 digital certificates are issued for both business and individual personal basis. This certificate ensures that there is no conflict in information provided in application and the consumer’s database. The principle use of class 2 digital certificate filling of Ministry of Corporate Affair21 (ROC) over the web and income tax online portals.
To have a digital signature a application form is filling and on enquiry of all documents attached and particulars, Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA) who handles the RA’s, issues the digital certificate. The certifying authority signed with the private key of CA. It is based on asymmetric cryptography and contains owner’s name, owner’s public key and the expiry date of class 2 digital signature. The validity of this certificate is one or two year but it can be renewable on initial expiry period. To download a digital certificate a USB token i.e. a cryptographic device, is needed for the security purpose.
Uses of digital signature:
- MCA 21 filling: Ministry of Corporate Affairs initiated the MCA-21 program that eases various transaction of Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Like it is required to fill income tax return for those businesses whose revenue is more than 60 lakh, then DSC class 2 is essential for that online filling of ITR.
- E-tendering: Digital certificates issued to the individual behalf of a company or firm. In some website use class 2 DSC for online issuing tender.
- Document signing: DSC certifies the senders filling document like hand written signature verification it perform authentication on internet. When a document is digitally certified an extra data is added together with the document that ensures the authentication of sender’s information and documents.
- Claim under EPFO: To forward claim online registration of digital certificate with Employee Provident Fund Organization. The DSC holder needs to click on online transfer portal in the homepage of EPFO website. The members can request or claim, update details, submit and even can revoke the claim online if they want to do so.
- Form 16 A signing and TRACES: Digital certificates are used to certified online filled form 16A and TRACED of TDS (Tax Deducted at Source).
- Integrity of software: Class 2 digital certificate can be used to authority of distributed software program that helps developer to preserve the integrity of software.
Advantage of class 2 digital signature:
- Digital signature authenticates your identity on internet.
- It also maintains the confidentiality of information because digital signature encrypts the message and provides absolute privacy to online transaction.
- Digital signature cannot be copied from the digitally signed document and they can be carried in USB device, easily like pen drive.
- Digital signature can be traced so it is easy to verify the information provided by the sender is duly signed with DSC.