BLUF: SPF and DKIM go a long way
An SPF record is an important security feature that helps to protect your email domain from spam and phishing attempts. SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework, and it works by defining a list of servers that are authorized to send email on behalf of your domain. This helps to prevent unauthorized servers from using your domain name to send spam or phishing emails.
The problem is I’m still finding loosely configured SPF records that validate just about ‘everything’ and generally stop about there. But looseness in this area puts everyone on the internet, your customers in particular, at risk as well as your reputation. Let’s get that fixed:
To set up an SPF record, you’ll need to create a simple text file that contains a list of the servers that are authorized to send email for your domain. You then publish this record in the Domain Name System (DNS) for your domain. When an email recipient’s server receives an email from your domain, it will check the SPF record to determine if the server that sent the email is authorized. If the server is not authorized, the email may be marked as spam or rejected entirely.
In addition to SPF, there are two other important email security standards: DKIM and DMARC.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a technology that allows the recipient of an email to verify that the message has not been modified during transit. It does this by using digital signatures to encrypt the contents of an email message. This helps to ensure that the message has not been altered by an unauthorized third party, such as a spammer or phisher.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is an email authentication protocol that provides a way for email domain owners to protect their domains from unauthorized use, such as phishing and email spoofing. It works by allowing email domain owners to publish policies in their DNS records that specify how receiving mail servers should handle emails that fail SPF and/or DKIM checks. This helps to prevent unauthorized use of your domain, and it also provides a way for you to receive reports about any attempted misuse of your domain.
In conclusion, it’s important to have SPF, DKIM, and DMARC set up for your email domain to ensure that your emails are not marked as spam and to protect your domain from phishing and other malicious activities. These security features help to keep your email communications secure and help to protect your reputation as a sender.