Are Remote Online Notarizations Safe?

Are Remote Online Notarizations Safe final

Remote Online Notarization (RON) is considered a safer way of notarizing documents compared to traditional notary services. It has added security features that help to combat fraud. For instance, RON captures the notarization process on video, adding a layer of protection you often don’t find with in-person notarizations. 

In addition, RON platforms require confirmation of the signer’s identity through forensic ID verification and complex streamlined knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions. These processes help verify and document the person signing, reducing fraud.

Advanced technology has also assisted notary service providers in adding multiple layers of protection within the platform to protect the entire process and secure the signer’s personal information. Let us discuss how notary service providers keep sensitive information and documents safe. 

Why Use Third-Party Service Providers for Data Hosting

Numerous SaaS companies use third-party service providers such as Amazon Web and Microsoft Azure to host their data. These providers spend millions of dollars to guarantee data security and put additional measures such as AI-powered security monitoring, internal firewalls, and human security. 

Although there’s always a possibility of disruption, and no system is perfect, it’s vital to note that on-premise servers are more at risk of compromise than cloud solutions. Hence, working with high-performing providers like Microsoft Azure is the best way to minimize risk.

How RON Protects the Signer’s Personal Information

Most state laws require notaries to keep journal entries for all online notarial acts in a secure electronic journal record. To ensure the signer’s information is stored safely, the records are kept in a permanent tamper-evident electronic format that is password protected and encrypted. The journal is also immutable—the notary cannot edit it once they make an entry. 

NotaryFix provides Notaries with a user ID and passwords to access their immutable journal records. If a third party requests access to any document, they must talk to the notary directly or make an official request to be discussed with the involved parties. 

How to Securely Conduct Remote Online Notarizations

Before starting the notarization process, ensure the notary service provider is registered with a trusted Certificate Authority that uses the X.509 standard. The digital certificate acquired using this format works as an electronic password. In addition, this standard ensures the certificate is secure and can be validated as belonging to the signer because the certificate issuers adequately verify the parties or systems involved are genuine. 

When the notary affixes the electronic seal, a digital algorithm ties their identity to the document, creating a unique fingerprint in which any tampering will be evident. Here are the steps to conduct a secure RON process:

  1. Contract with a RON software provider that meets your state’s requirements. 
  2. Upload your client’s documents in an electronic format on the RON platform.
  3. The service provider screens the signer’s identity. This process includes answering KBA questions and verifying the identification documents.
  4. You will be admitted to the meeting room and asked to confirm the signer’s identity visually.
  5. Once all the notarization requirements have been completed, you and your client must sign and notarize the documents.
  6. Save the documents, and immediately the RON provider sends the signer a copy of the notarized documents. 
  7. The service provider securely archives your documents and session video. 

An outstanding RON platform provides an audit trail that tracks all the notarization processes. It records the communications dates and times with each client. This feature helps to avoid mixing information, enables easy accessibility of previous records, and helps you organize your documents.  

Identity Proofing and Credential Analysis

The foundation of cybersecurity lies in the ability of online systems to protect information from unwanted disclosure and theft. RON achieves this by using identity proofing and credential analysis methods to verify the signer’s identity. 

Identity Proofing 

Identity proofing is how the signer verifies their identity by answering knowledge-based authentication questions. The RON platform asks the signer several questions about their basic identity information and personal history. The signer receives two chances to get it right, and they have to answer 80% of the questions correctly. If not, they must wait for 24hrs to make another attempt. 

Typically, the signer receives an email with an invitation link and is redirected to the identity verification screen. Next, they are required to answer five questions, and if successful, they are prompted to upload copies of their IDs to confirm their validity. 

Credential Analysis

The credential analysis involves validation of the signer’s government-issued identification card. Efficient RON providers use advanced technology to confirm the security features on an ID to ensure it is genuine. The signer takes a photo of the front and back sides of the ID card and uploads it. NotaryFix uses information from other authoritative sources to confirm the details of the credentials.

As the notary, you can visually confirm your client’s credentials via audio-visual transmission. If you verify the ID matches the person on the other side of the screen, they will be admitted to the notarization room. 

Tamper-Evident Technology

Tamper-evident technology is a feature that is designed to enable a person to inspect an electronic document to determine whether its integrity has been compromised. The layer of security added ensures your client’s notarized documents are secure and any changes can be detected. 

Notary service providers are required to have one or more tamper-evident technologies to perform the notarial act legally. For example, every document notarized on NotaryFix is encrypted using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). This technology creates a unique “thumbprint” of an electronic record that can reveal corruption or tampering with a document. 

The Benefits of Audio Visual Technology

Audio Visual technology is a crucial feature to the success of online notarization because it guarantees that you will communicate with the signer similarly to an in-person meeting. This feature enhances security as you can visually confirm the signer’s identity. Other benefits of audio-visual communication are:

  • It saves time and money because you can visually confirm the individual’s identity without traveling to their location.
  • The signer feels more confident with notarizing online when they can see the notary and access the recording when needed.  
  • You can communicate and collaborate more effectively with your clients.

An excellent RON service provider will have sufficient video resolution and audio clarity to enable the notarization process to run smoothly. It should also have superior security features to prevent unauthorized access during live transmission or while the recording is in storage. 

Protect Your Online Notarization Process with NotaryFix

NotaryFix platform is committed to providing clients with secure and responsible online transactions and data management. We use the latest technology to make sure you conduct a secure notarization process while ensuring it is compliant with your state’s notary laws. 

Our platform enables you to get results within minutes, helping you to optimize your time with each client. Contact us today for a more secure, trustworthy, and safer RON service. 

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