How to setup DKIM, SPF and DMARC?

If you really want to safeguard your sender reputation, improve your deliverability, and increase responses setting up DKIM, SPF and DMARC are essential. So, we recommend that you set them up as quickly as you can!

If you wonder what exactly DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records are, they are a part of your DNS settings with your domain provider such as GoDaddy and Namecheap. 

While they are not connected with SalesBlink, how can we leave you out in the cold? Here's a guide that will be helpful to you so that you get a great outcome from your email campaigns,

What do DKIM, SPF and DMARC mean?

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) 

DKIM refers to an email authentication method that helps in ensuring that messages don't get altered during transit i.e. when sent from sender's server to recipient's server. There is the use of public-key cryptography. 

It helps find out if the sender addresses are forged in the emails and enables senders to link a domain name with every email to seem authentic. 

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

SPF is an email authentication method that helps in detecting forged sender addresses when an email gets delivered. With only SPF, you can detect a forged sender claim in he email's envelope that is used when the email bounces. However, along with DMARC, you can use it to detect the forgery in the sender addresses common in malicious activities like email spam and phishing. Doesn't it seem to be important to stay away from attacks? 

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance)

DMARC is a protocol for email authentication that lets email domain owners to safeguard their domain from unauthorized use mainly referred to as email spoofing. 

The implementation of DMARC aims at protecting a domain from malicious activities like phishing, email scams, and most other cyber threats. 

By setting up DMARC, if an email passes the authentication, it reaches the inbox, and you can trust it. However, if the check fails, the email can get delivered, quarantined or rejected based on the instruction you have provided in the DMARC record.

DMARC extends SPF and DKIM. It lets the admin of a domain specify which mechanism gets employed when sending an email from the domain, the method of checking the 'from ' field, how the recipient has to handle failures, and what the reporting mechanism should be.

What makes DKIM, SPF and DMARC important?

Nothing is surprising about the fact that hackers are on the prowl all over the internet. By clicking on a malicious attachment in your email, you are increasing the chances of cyberattacks. Your enterprise can get affected with ransomware, cryptojacking scripts and that may lead to data leakage. 

Talking about DKIM, SPF, and DMARC, companies require all three to safeguard their email infrastructure. The 3 email authentication methods complement each other and businesses require all of them. 

The point is that if you want to prevent cyber attacks, which you obviously want to, you must definitely set up DKIM, SPF and DMARC.

How to set up DKIM, SPF and DMARC?

If you use Google for email, there are instructions to guide you with setting up DKIM and generating domain key. If you manage your domain with cPanel, there are suggestions on the method to configure DNS records. After you set them up, make use of an online tool for the validation of DKIM keys.

Here is a step-by-step guide to set up DKIM,

1. Log into Google Admin: admin.google.com.

2. Go to the navigation menu on the left menu > Apps > GSuite > Gmail.

3. Generate a DKIM Key.

4. Create a DNS TXT Record using the DKIM key you generated in the step above.

You would need to do to your domain provider for this such as Namecheap or GoDaddy.

5. Once you create a DNS TXT record in your domain with the DKIM key, you can begin authenticating. 

Here is how to set up SPF,

1. Log in to your account on the domain's host site (It can be GoDaddy or Namecheap).

2. Get the DNS records of your domain updated

3. Find the TXT record and see if there is an existing SPF record in your domain. 

4. Remove the SPF record if already present.

5. Use the following values to create a TXT record,

Name/Host/Alias - Leave blank or enter @

TTL Time to Live - Enter 3600 or let the default value remain

Value/Answer/Destination - Enter v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

You will have to wait for at least 48 hours for the changes to take place. 

Here is how to set up DMARC,

1. Visit the site of your domain administrator and find DNS management or settings.

2. To your DNS add the follwoinh:

  • Host Name: _dmarc
  • VALUE (with email): v=DMARC1; p=quarantine; rua=mailto:example@example.com; pct=90; sp=none
  • The minimum is "v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:dmarc@yourdomain.com" (you need to change it)

We hope you found this useful! 

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