Understanding the Importance of SPF and DKIM for Domain Authentication

Domain authentication is mandatory as part of email marketing, as it can affect email deliverability. Here you will learn about what SPF and DKIM are, and how they influence and play an important role in the email sending process. SPF and DKIM can save your email from Spam, spoofing, and phishing. Prior to SPF and DKIM, we will first learn what domain authentication is.

Domain Authentication Definition

Domain authentication is a necessary means of verifying that e-mail is sent to its owner. For example, suppose we have the mtarget.co domain. By authenticating the domain, the email we send with the mtarget.co domain will be accepted by the email client and won’t go to the spam box.

Is it important to do domain authentication? Of course, if you are a business that sends out emails for the commercial reason or perhaps sends out transactional emails, then it is very important to use SPF and DKIM. This protocol will not only protect your business from sabotage who wants to commit fraud using your domain, but SPF and DKIM ultimately help protect your customer relationships and brand reputation.

Then how do you do domain authentication? By setting the configuration in SPF and DKIM.

Definition of Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an authentication mechanism so that recipient servers can recognize email senders through their DNS servers. So, if someone sends an email by faking your data, the email will be rejected by the receiving server because it is not recognized.

How SPF Works

Basically, SPF specifies a method for receiving mail servers to verify that incoming mail from a domain is sent from a host authorized by the domain administrator. The following three steps explain how SPF works:

  1. The domain administrator grants access to the e-mail server that is authorized to send e-mail from that domain. This access is called SPF, and is registered as part of the overall DNS records for the domain.

  2. When the e-mail server receives incoming e-mail, the e-mail server then compares the e-mail sender’s IP address with the official IP address that has been registered as SPF.

  3. Receiver email server then decides whether to accept, reject, or mark email messages.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Definition

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a method for verifying that message content is trustworthy and from a clear sender via the sender’s public or private key. Its function is to detect fraudulent sender identities and prevent malicious e-mails such as spam.

How DKIM Works

To put it simply, DKIM adds tags in email message headers. This tag is validated for encryption via public cryptographic key (Example: mt1.domainkey) by DNS records.

  1. The domain owner will publish a cryptographic key. It is specifically formatted as a TXT record across domain DNS records.

  2. After the message is sent by the outgoing e-mail server, the server generates and attaches a unique DKIM signature to the message header.

  3. The DKIM key is then used by the incoming mail server to detect and decrypt the tag and compare it with the new version. If the values ​​match then the message is proven authentic, so the email can be sent.

Set SPF and DKIM

In MTARGET, SPF and DKIM need to be set so that the MTARGET system has permission to send email with your domain user. So when sending an email, the receiving server can clearly identify you.

For a complete tutorial on domain authentication, you can read here. If you are still having trouble setting up SPF and DKIM, our team is ready to help. Ask for problems via live chat which is active for 24 hours.

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