The instructions within this article are provided to validate a Forensic Note via Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. However, validation via the Forensic Notes Proprietary Validation Tool is recommended due to its ease of use and validation capabilities.
1. Open a Forensic Note / Notebook within Adobe Reader or Acrobat and ensure that the “Valid Forensic Note” signature panel is displayed (see below). If Digital Certificate has not been trusted, go to Trust Digital Signing Certificate and follow the instructions before proceeding.
2. Confirm that the PDF has been Digitally Signed by DocumentSigning@forensicnotes.com
3. Confirm that the document has not been modified since the signature was applied.
4. Confirm that the signing time of the document approximately matches the time you have recorded within the Forensic Note or Forensic Notebook. To view the signing time of the Forensic Note, you must “Show Signature Properties…”.
While validating a Forensic Note or a Forensic Notebook, up to three (3) different dates & times may be found which will all be valid if they fall within a couple minutes of each other due to how Forensic Notes are processed. Forensic Notes are processed in three (3) distinctive steps:
Forensic Note information in saved read-only into the database. The date and time associated with saving the data into the Forensic Notes application is recorded and printed within the generated PDF.
A Forensic Notes PDF is generated which includes the printed date and time from Step #1. The Forensic Note PDF is then Digitally Signed with a Digital Signing Certificate. The date and time associated with the Digital Signature is recorded within the Digital Signature. This Digital Signature’s signing date can then be displayed within the PDF as the Signing Date & Time. (see Validate via Adobe Reader / Acrobat - Step #4)
A one-way HASH of the Forensic Note PDF is sent to our independent and trusted third-party Timestamping Authority (TSA) which provides a timestamp of the Forensic Note or Forensic Notebook. The date and time associated with the timestamping is recorded within the Digital Timestamp Certificate and returned to the Forensic Notes application. (see Validate via Timestamp Certificate)
These three (3) steps are normally processed quickly resulting in minimal differences in times associated with all three steps. However, larger documents or heavy network utilization may result in longer delays between steps causing more significant time differences. As a result, times should approximately match within a couple minutes’ difference.