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The Importance of Setting up Email Correctly

Munds Park RV Resor

May 20, 2024

by Wally Hass

Email is the backbone of modern business communication. However, if you don’t have proper email authentication protocols in place, your emails could be marked as spam and never reach their intended destination, or worse, be intercepted by hackers. We find this to be the case with many prospects and new clients we encounter, even with those using an MSP.  It’s a common problem, and a solution is available if you understand the importance of setting up DMARC, DKIM, and SPF records correctly for your domain’s email.

What are DMARC, DKIM and SPF?

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) are email authentication protocols that work together to verify the legitimacy of your sent emails.

SPF allows you to specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails from your domain. DKIM adds a encrypted signature to outgoing emails to verify the owner domain. DMARC builds on SPF and DKIM by telling receiving email providers what to do with emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks.

With these protocols properly configured, your legitimate emails get through spam filters and malicious emails pretending to be from your domain get blocked.

Benefits of Using DMARC, DKIM and SPF?

1. Improved Email Deliverability
By authenticating your emails with DMARC, DKIM and SPF, you ensure they aren’t marked as spam and end up in recipients’ inboxes rather than their junk folders.

2. Protect Your Brand Reputation
These email authentication protocols prevent email spoofing and phishing attacks where hackers send malicious emails impersonating your brand. This protects your company’s reputation.

3. Compliance with Email Security Standards
Many email providers and security services now require DMARC, DKIM and SPF compliance. Properly configuring these is becoming the standard practice.

4. Insight into Email Traffic
DMARC reporting gives you visibility into all sources sending emails using your domain, including shadow IT and potential abuse.

How to Implement DMARC, DKIM and SPF

The exact steps vary based on your email provider and hosting setup, but generally you’ll need to:

1. Generate DKIM keys and publish the public key in your DNS
2. Publish an SPF record listing authorized mail servers
3. Set up a DMARC record specifying your SPF and DKIM alignment requirements
4. Verify if the DKIM-Signature header is populated in the outbound emails with the correct DKIM selector
5. Gradually ramp up your DMARC policy to enforcement mode

Implementing IT Services with NTS is easy

NTS provides comprehensive IT services as part of our managed services. Our customers receive a proactive, effective solution through high-quality tools employed by a team of experts with a broad and deep skill set.  We provide foundational systems support that significantly maximizes network performance and uptime while reducing the risk of cyberattacks and malicious actions, allowing our clients to focus on their operations and customers. Schedule a consultation with NTS today!


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