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Home > Authentication > Digital signatures

Digital signatures—step-by-step

To verify a digitally signed document you must have Adobe Acrobat 5 or Acrobat Reader 5.1 or a higher version of the reader. The latest version of Adobe Reader is available for free download from the Adobe web site.

Select a signature handler

  1. In Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader, choose EditPreferencesGeneral. Select Digital Signatures on the left side of the dialog box.
  2. Choose a default signature handler. The menu lists the handlers installed in your Acrobat Plug-ins folder. The default is Acrobat Self-Sign Security.
  3. Select Verify signature when document is opened if you want signatures to be verified automatically when a document is opened.

Create a user profile

A user profile for Acrobat is required to store your trusted certificates and verify digitally signed documents. If you do not have a user profile follow the steps below to create one.

  1. From the Tools, Self-Sign Security menu, select Log In.
  2. From the Self-Sign SecurityLog In dialog box, create a New User Profile.
  3. Save your profile file somewhere secure.

Add the certificate

The certificate is used to check the validity of digital signatures. You can access PCO’s certificate from the link in step 1 below and store it on your computer. When you save it, it will be stored in your ‘trusted certificates’.

  1. Click here to download the certificate.
  2. Select Add to list.
  3. If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to log in.
  4. The certificate will now be added to your ‘trusted certificates’.

Once you have created a user profile and loaded PCO’s certificate into your trusted certificates, you are ready to verify any digitally signed documents from PCO.

Verify a digitally signed document

  1. If you are not logged in, log in with your user profile from the Tools, Self-Sign Security menu.
  2. If the document has been signed, a signature will appear in the signature tab (usually located on the left-hand side of the screen).
  3. From the Signature drop-down menu within the signature tab or from the ToolsDigital Signatures menu, select Verify Signature.
  4. If the signature is valid, the following message box will appear:
Self-sign Security Validation Status: Signature is valid. The identity of the signer has been verified as being in your list of trusted certificates.

For more detailed information about digital signatures please read your Acrobat or Acrobat Reader help files.

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