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More and more schools are not teaching cursive handwriting, and many are considering it more of an art, or optional in the curriculum.

I assume this will have an impact on the ability to forge a person's signature.

However, I don't assume that an education (or lack thereof) in cursive affects the difficulty in forging a signature on demand. That's what this question is about.

Question

  1. Does the lack of (or excessive amounts of) handwriting training positively or negatively affect the ability to forge that individuals' signature?

Driving need

I am trying to access how much of digital or iPad based signatures are security theater, or if there is some genuine value here.

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  • why does cursive mean a signature is harder to forge? – schroeder Jul 21 '16 at 21:54
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    next time you are asked for a digital sig try just putting an X ... spoilyer your purchase will still go through with out a hicup. The only time anyone would ever look at the sigs would be after something bad happened ... and it would be difficult to use it as evidence even then. – CaffeineAddiction Jul 21 '16 at 22:08
  • ObHaHaHa: Zug's Credit Card Prank – gowenfawr Jul 22 '16 at 12:29
  • not "security theater": a signature is good evidence you meant to give the vendor money... – dandavis Jul 22 '16 at 17:14
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I am very skilled in cursive handwriting, and I can tell you that such skill has little to no effect in forging another person's signature. Most often, people forget how cursive really works and just memorize a fast signature. This makes scrawled messes like you can usually find on a doctor's note common, and any real ability in cursive only makes you more aware of how much of a monstrosity it is. While cursive may make your hand steadier, forging a signature requires skill in the area of being able to draw and copy very well, not the skill of cursive. Of course, if you're interested in getting a perfect forgery it is much easier to use conveniences of the age such as cameras.

As for how it relates to information security, a signature is another imperfect verification process meant to slow scammers. It is possible to forge a signature, either with a skilled hand or with digital tools. However, if some scammer makes a fake card with your credentials, they likely will not know or care what your signature is. When you detect the malicious activity on your account, it is easy for the bank to check your signatures to find the fake ones. Your signature will also be checked on any large check. However, when you're buying five dollars worth of groceries it will likely be stored for a little while and never seen again. Any real understanding of cursive is pretty meaningless to this process.

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