The Signing password authentication method requires a recipient to enter a password that the agreement's sender provides. Passwords as a security method are well understood and easily adopted by recipients who might find more complex authentication methods daunting.
The sender defines the signing password when they compose the agreement, and it must be communicated to the recipient by some out-of-band process (Phone call, email, text).
The default authentication process challenges the recipient to validate their identity by entering the agreement's signing password in a text field.
- A link is provided for the recipient to contact the sender if they need to obtain the password:
Once the authentication is passed, the recipient is granted access to interact with the agreement as long as the session between their computer and Acrobat Sign persists.
If the recipient closes the agreement window for any reason or allows their session to expire, they will have to re-authenticate to resume their activity.
The Signing password authentication method is available to all service plans with no costs associated.
Configuring Password authentication when composing a new agreement
When Password authentication is enabled, the sender can select it from the Authentication drop-down just to the right of the recipient's email address.
Best Practices and Considerations
- Passwords can be tricky to track for hundreds of agreements. Having an internal convention to build decryptable passwords may be useful to ensure recipients don't get locked out of their agreements if a password is forgotten.
- Passwords can only be changed for in-process agreements by editing the authentication type on the sender's manage page.
- Passwords should be delivered to the recipient through an out-of-band method (e.g., Phone). Do not include the password in the agreement message.
Signing password authentication has two sets of controls, which are available to be configured at the account and group levels:
- Send Settings, which control the sender's access to the password option
- Security Settings, which govern the recipient's experience
The option to use Signing password authentication can be enabled for senders by navigating to Send Settings > Signer Identification Options
- Signing password checkbox - When checked, Password is an available option for the agreements composed in the group.
- (Optional) Support contact - By default, the challenge page for the recipient requiring them to enter the password provides the email address of the sender if the recipient needs to contact someone. The optional Support contact field replaces the sender's email address with either a phone number or an email address, providing a funnel for inbound queries to a resource dedicated to resolving issues.
- (Optional) By default, use the following method - When Signing passwords are enabled for use, the option to set Signing password as the default authentication method is available.
Configure the Security Settings
The agreement signing password has two control options that can be configured by the admin on the Security Settings page under the Agreement Signing Password section:
- Restrict number of attempts - Enabled by default. If disabled, then recipients can try to enter the password an unlimited number of times
- Allow Signer XX attempts to enter the agreement password before cancelling the agreement - The admin can enter a threshold number to limit the number of attempts a recipient can take to authenticate. Once the number of attempts is crossed, the agreement is automatically canceled and the sender is notified
- Document Password Strength - This setting defines the minimum complexity of the passwords that are requested for:
- Recipient authentication for agreement access
- Signed agreement encryption (downloaded agreement PDFs)
- Signer Identity Reports (as related to Government ID reporting)
- Recipient authentication for agreement access
The setting values are:
► None - Requires the password to be set with at least one non-whitespace character
► Standard - Requires a minimum of 6 characters
► Medium - Requires a minimum of 7 characters
► Strong - Requires a minimum of 8 characters
If you do not see the Security Settings available in your menu, verify that the authentication method is enabled on the Send Settings page.
Individual tier accounts do not have access to the Security Settings tab. For these accounts, the Standard setting value is applied (a minimum of six characters).
Customers in the Acrobat Sign for Government environment do not have access to adjust the document password strength. These accounts must use a password consisting of at least 14 characters, including at least:
- One upper case alpha character
- One lower case alpha character
- One number
The audit report clearly indicates the recipient entered a valid password:
If the agreement is canceled due to the recipient being unable to authenticate, the reason is explicitly stated:
Automatic agreement cancelation when a recipient fails to authenticate
If the settings restrict the number of password authentication attempts, and the recipient fails to authenticate that number of times, the agreement is automatically canceled.
The agreement's originator is sent an email announcing the cancelation with a note identifying the recipient that failed to authenticate.
No other parties are notified.