Emails are essential for a business to acquire and retain customers. However, cybercriminals also use emails to scam clients by sending them messages pretending to be other people.
In the past, there were no reliable ways to verify who sent messages before opening them, which resulted in a lot of phishing and viruses spreading through mails. Therefore, your clients need to verify that the mail comes from you before opening it. DKIM and SPF are the standard email authentication technologies people use.
What Is SPF?
Sender Policy Framework is an email authentication technology that defines the validation process to ensure that it was sent from an authorized server. With SPF, you can publish several authorized mail servers and indicate which IP addresses are authorized to send messages from your domain.
When you send a mail, the recipient’s mail provider looks up the domain name in the ‘envelope from’; address in the DNS records to verify the SPF record. If the IP address found is not among the ones you have listed, the receiving mail server will flag the mail as spam.
Without an SPF, STMP exposes your domain to people who might want to use it for spamming or other cybercrimes.
What Is DKIM?
DomainKeys Identified Mail is another authentication method that allows email recipients to link the mail back to the domain it was sent from. It helps detect spoofed and fake mails and allows your business to take responsibility for a message in a manner that the recipient can validate.
This happens by giving an email a DKIM digital signature. That is an encrypted string inserted invisibly into the message that the recipient’s mail server can validate against public DNS records of your business domain.
These signatures are usually checked at server levels, but results are not displayed directly to the recipient. As usual, the message appears in their inbox, but it has better chances of passing security checks and SPAM filters. A DKIM verification also ensures that no changes were made to the mail before getting to the recipient.
Before implementing DKIM in your emails, you must publish a valid DKIM record. You can use the DKIM checker to validate your record and test any updates.
You can also validate your SPF/DKIM records using SMTP providers to ensure your emails get to the recipient’s inboxes. SMTP is the industry standard for sending emails on the internet and uses proper authentication to increase the chances of your emails being delivered to the recipient.
How They Benefit an Organization
- Increases the organization’s reputation- Once you implement these authentication technologies in your domains, it makes your business stand out as reliable, secure, and transparent to clients, partners, and any other shareholders.
- Avoids spam filters- Your mails will always reach your clients’ inbox after passing the verifications.
- Protects the recipients from phishing, spoofing, and scams- Your recipients never have to worry about cybercrimes through your mails.
DomainKeys Identified Mail and SPF help protect your company’s reputation and your clients from internet scammers. It is not usually an either/or situation when choosing which one to use. They work better together because they help check all aspects of the message you are sending.