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How to Authenticate Your Email in 5 Steps

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07 Jan 2021

One thing that all businesses run away from is your mails ending up in the spam folder. It can adversely affect your open rates, which then leads to low click-through rates. Email authentication is a must-have for all businesses that are up and running, to avoid spammers from sending out emails disguised under your name.

Spammers usually send out emails pretending to be from your domain. It is also referred to as phishing. Using this technique, they trick your potential clientele into filling out forms that might contain vital information, including their passwords, bank credentials, and other sensitive information.

To ensure your client’s and your own safety, it all comes down to Email authentication. It is used by over 76% inboxes globally. Without any further ado, let’s dive into what Email Authentication is and how to Authenticate your email.

Email Authentication: Introduction

Email Authentication is the process of identifying the source or domain of an email by Internet Service Providers to route your email. It is also known as validation or domain authentication.

It efficiently helps ISPs eliminate emails that might be sent out with intentions of spoofing and phishing, where an email appears to be sent out from one domain, but instead, it is actually sent out from another.

In the current day scenarios, almost every business entity using email authentication techniques. It essentially maintains your online reputation and retains the trust of your clientele.

Benefits of Email Authentication

Following are some significant benefits of email authentication.

With email authentication set up in your accounts, you lower the possibility of your emails ending up in the spam folder –this enables you to retain your client’s trust and improve your engagement rates.

Your domain name is often referred to as a brand. Any email sent out from your domain is associated with your brand. Email authentication keeps your mailing list safe and provides your clientele with better deliverability –it protects you against scammers that are pretending to be you and using your name.

Scammers that use your brand name as a disguise to send out their phishing emails can drastically affect your clients. With cybercrimes on the verge these days, scammers have transferred billions of dollars through spoofed emails. Email authentication prevents them from using your brand name to send out disguised emails –to prevent frauds.

Email Authentication: Methods You Can Make Use Of

Here are some methods for email authentication that you can use;

Here’s a detailed insight into each of these methods.

DomainKeys (DKIM)

Domain Keys (DKIM) is referred to as DomainKeys Identified Email. It is a protocol used for email authentication and is carried out at the server level. The process relies on the addition of a domain name identifier to the message that acts as a digital signature, which is then validated using cryptographic techniques at the receiving end.

Once a digitally signed email is sent out, it is then determined by the receiving server whether it contains a valid DKIM signature or not.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is the process of detecting forged sender addresses during the delivery of an email. It is used along with DMARC to prevent spammers from sending messages disguised under your domain.

It provides critical information to the receiving server regarding how trustable the origin or source of your business is. It allows the receiving server to determine whether the mail sent out from a specific domain is submitted by an authorized IP address.

Sender ID

Sender ID is used to validate the sender’s email address and is often related to SPF. However, the sender ID examines the PRA (Purported Responsible Address) of the email and uses that information to authenticate emails.

DMARC

DMARC is referred to as Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. It is essentially a security policy that enables a sender to indicate that their emails are protected via DKIM and SPF techniques.

1. Make use of DKIM and SPF techniques and authenticate your email. These are prerequisites for DMARC, a new protocol used by ISPs to determine whether an email has originated from its actual source or if it is another email disguised with your brand’s name.

2. Make a roadmap that includes a list of all your IP addresses that you send out your emails from. It should comprise of both internal and external sources, including your email service provider.

3. Make an authentication record on both SPF and DKIM. While they might serve you one purpose, these are different processes and require separate records to be set up. After you’ve set up these records, proceed to publish them.

4. Sign your outbound emails with DKIM. Setup this in your mail server to automatically sign all outgoing emails. However, DKIM requires your message transfer agent to have suitable software that supports the signing of outgoing emails.

5. Test and examine your newly setup SPF and DKIM records. SPF features multiple testing tools, while DKIM features two testing tools, Policy Record Testor and Selector Record Tester.

Conclusion

Email authentication has been enforced by over 76% of inboxes globally to ensure the deliverability of your emails. It can be set up using DKIM and SPF techniques, integrated using DMARC.

Email authentication retains your brand’s reputation and encourages more potential clients while at the same time lowering your chances of ending up in the spam folder of your clienteles’ inbox. Furthermore, it lowers the possibility of scammers using your brand name as a disguise to send out phishing emails.

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