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Every other week seems to come with news of yet another security breach. It’s clear we need to protect our electronic data to try and stop identity thieves and others that want to steal from us.
But this goes beyond electronic documents. It’s also important to protect your signature on paper documents.
Knowing how to protect your signature is important
From signing a guest book to the consent on the forms at your new doctor’s office to signing for a new home or car loan, signatures are far from extinct.
And, while they’re slowly becoming a thing of the past, checks are also still very much in use. Given that they’re linked to your checking account, they are especially risky.
Needless to say, it’s important to know how to protect your signature.
Here are some ways to protect your signature from being copied
The way you sign can make it easier or harder for a thief to copy your signature. In their research, a group of academics found that certain things, such as how hard it is to read and the direction of strokes, can add more complexity to a signature, making it harder to copy.
Here are some other tips you can use to practice your signature:
- Sign in cursive. Every time. Print is super easy for a thief to forge.
- Sign fast. A slow signature is often easier to copy. By taking more care in shaping each letter perfectly, it can make it easier for a thief to replicate.
- Don’t sign your name so that it’s too easy to read. If your signature is too easy to read, it’s likely too easy to copy.
- Add some variation to the shape of your letters. If your signature looks like all you did was make a doodle and a line, assume a thief can copy it by, well, drawing a doodle and a line.
- Be consistent. If your signature changes wildly each time you sign, a thief can get away with not being perfect.
Sign Documents Using a Pen with Blue Ink
Signing in blue ink, instead of black ink, can help you know which is your original document and which is a copy.
Blue ink signatures come in handy during critical moments when you’re asked to show an original, signed document.
Use Pens that Protect Against Check Washing Fraud
Check washing, or water fading, is frighteningly common. Done by using liquids to erase ink from paper, a thief can steal a document and erase anything written on it in regular ink to create a blank document that they can then fill out and use for themselves.
This is typically used to steal from checking accounts. A thief steals a check written to someone else, erases anything written in ink, makes the check out to themselves, or whomever, then changes the dollar amount and runs off with the money.
An easy way to protect against this is by signing checks and documents using pens with ink made specifically to protect against check washing or fading. For less than $2 per pen, it’s a super easy way to make your documents and checks a little more secure.