A DKIM setup (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a standard that allows you to verify that the email you’re sending actually came from your domain. It’s kind of like a digital signature that proves you wrote the email.

You can use a DKIM setup to make sure your email doesn’t get filtered by spam filters or blocked by spam blockers, which means it’ll make it through without being rejected. It also ensures that your emails don’t get blocked by anti-spam services, like those found on Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail. This way you can send legitimate emails from any email address and not worry about whether or not it’s going to get caught in the spam filter.

What is a DKIM setup?

A DKIM setup is a digital signature method that’s used to verify that the message you’re sending is really coming from whoever you think it is. That way, it’s much harder for someone to spoof a message and pretend they’re sending it from someone else without your knowledge.

It works by creating an encrypted hash of the original text of the email and then sending it through multiple machines before encrypting it again. The encrypted version is then sent back to the original sender for verification.

There are two main parts to the verification process: verifying that an email has been signed properly and verifying that the signatures themselves are valid.

How does a DKIM setup work? 

A DKIM setup is a way to ensure that your email is not being altered in transit from your server to the recipient’s server. It uses public-key cryptography, which means it uses a private key (which only you know) and a public key (which can be shared openly).

When you send an email, your mail server will encrypt the message using the recipient’s public key. This process is called “authentication.” At the same time, when the recipient’s mail server receives the message, it will decrypt it using its own private key. This process is called “decryption.” If they match up exactly—if they both have their own private keys and their own public keys—then they can be assured that no one has tampered with their email during transit.

This system makes DKIM possible because if someone tries to intercept your email before it reaches its destination (like an ISP or phishing attack), they will not be able to decrypt it because they don’t have access to your private key; instead, they’ll only see garbage data if they try

If you’re just getting started with your DKIM setup, we recommend using our PowerDMARC, which offers an easy-to-use interface and support from experts on everything from setting up the protocol to troubleshooting if things don’t go smoothly. If you’re more comfortable with advanced features like rate limits and email authentication best practices, sign up today to take a free email authentication trial.

How to orchestrate your DKIM setup to maximize protection? 

  • Combine it with SPF and DMARC

If you wish to take your DKIM setup to the next level, consider pairing it up with SPF and DMARC. While SPF helps verify your sending sources, DMARC allows you to specify to receiving servers how to handle bad email as well as monitor your email channels from time to time. Together, the three protocols work in unison to provide compliance with your emails. 

  • Set up multiple DKIM records for your domain

Setting up more than one DKIM record is actually a good thing as it helps you shuffle between your keys to enable manual DKIM key rotation. This ensures that when one key is rendered obsolete, another can be configured and used. 

  • Use 2048 bits DKIM selectors 

While the standard is 1024 bits, using a longer selector will actually make your DKIM setup stronger and help you better protect your emails against alterations in transit. 

  • Don’t settle for a manual setup 

DKIM is free to use. It is an open-source authentication protocol that you can get started with by simply generating a TXT (or CNAME) record using our free DKIM record generator tool. Just enter the desired selector (e.g. s1) and your domain name (e.g. company.com) and hit the generate button. Follow on-screen instructions to publish the correct public key on your DNS and you’re done! This manual DKIM setup will be functional as soon as your DNS processes the changes. 

However, manual setups are prone to human error, require maintenance and monitoring and no one has time for that. This is why opting for an automated authentication experience with our DMARC analyzer is a confirmed way to ensure you’re availing of only the best when it comes to your email’s security. Get started today!

You’re aware of how the medical profession urges everyone to get vaccinated against the flu each year. This is because influenza outbreaks often have a season or a time of year when they first begin to spread and infect people.

There aren’t any regular seasonal infections for PCs, cellphones, tablets, and business networks. For them, the flu season never ends. Malware, or malicious softwares can damage your system (sometimes beyond repair) and access your sensitive data, or even encrypt it. Suffice to say this type of attack never ends well for the user. The overall number of new malware detections found worldwide as of March 2020 was 677.66 million programs, up from 661 million at the end of January 2020. By 2020, AV-TEST predicts that there will be more than 700 million new malware samples.

So, let’s have a look at what is malware and its significant types that spoil the working of your system.

What Is Malware?

Malware is a type of software that can cause damage to your computer system. Malicious software can take over your computer, access your private information, or damage your files and data.

Malware can be malicious, meaning that it has bad intentions and tries to harm you. Malicious software is usually designed to steal personal information, collect your passwords, or even destroy your computer.

Malware can also be unintentional, meaning that it was created by a developer or company who did not intend for the malware to contain any harmful features. Unintentional malware often consists of poorly written code that allows hackers to gain access to a user’s information or device.

What Can Malware Do?

Malware can cause problems like:

  • Locking up your computer.
  • Hiding your files which makes it hard for you to access your important files.
  • Changing the settings on your computer.
  • Downloading viruses, spyware, and other malware onto your PC.
  • Accessing your computer without your knowledge
  • Stealing data from your hard drive
  • Hijacking your browser or web-based applications
  • Taking over your computer to spy on others using it

Types of Malware

The most common types of malware have been discussed below:

  • Viruses are the most common type of malware, characterized by the ability to replicate and spread themselves to other systems. A virus can spread through email attachments, peer-to-peer file sharing, and other means.
  • Trojans are malicious software that spread through a network. They imitate legitimate programs (such as browsers) and trick users into running them by displaying fake security warnings or pop-ups.
  • Spyware is software that secretly collects information about users’ activities and behaviors on their computers and sends this data back to its developer. Spyware can include adware, which displays ads on web pages when accessed, and scareware, which displays fake alerts similar to those found in antivirus software, trying to trick users into buying more security software.
  • Ransomware is malware that encrypts your files and then demands payment to unlock them. The threat spreads through email attachments and infected websites. Cybercriminals have increasingly used ransomware to extort money from unsuspecting victims. Ranomware can also operate as a managed service popularly termed Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS).
  • Adware is advertising software that inserts advertisements into web pages viewed by you or any other person who visits your computer. These ads may be served without your consent or knowledge and are often collected without your knowledge. Adware might also track your browsing behavior online (such as site visits or keywords searched for), which can then be shared with third parties without your knowledge or consent.
  • Scareware is also known as fake antivirus or fake security software. It aims to trick you into thinking your computer has been infected with malware when it has not. Scareware typically pretends to be from a legitimate security organization such as AVG or Norton, even though these companies do not distribute such programs on the Internet nor provide support.

How Does Malware Spread?

Following a malicious attachment or link opening, malware can spread and infect devices and networks. Malicious software can sometimes be found on USB drives. Code in email attachments may direct your machine to download more malware from the internet.

How To Protect Yourself Against Malware?

There are ways to protect yourself from malware, but it takes a little effort.

  • Know the Basics of Email Security

Knowing the basics of email security and what to look for when picking an email server or provider is essential because attacks are getting more sophisticated and challenging to defend against.

The following three elements form the basis for email security:

  • The route an email takes to reach your inbox is called the envelope.
  • Information about the sender, destination, and different authentication details are contained in the header(s).
  • The message’s body is what you read and respond to (the contents of the email).

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication techniques, which heavily rely on DNS records, authenticate the sender and stop email spoofing which a potential vector for spreadin malware. Email service providers use these steps and different email security solutions to protect personal and business email accounts.

PowerDMARC, for example, uses a combination of technologies, including SPF and DKIM signatures to prevent malicious emails from being delivered to recipient mailboxes. It also blocks new messages from being sent until the sender has been authenticated by your mail server.

  • Only Use Trusted Antivirus and Malware Software

There is a lot of malware out there, but you can protect yourself from it by using only the software that the antivirus companies trust. The best way to do this is to use free antivirus software that has been created by people who have a background in computer science and can detect new viruses as they come out. These companies also have staff members who work full time on developing new methods of detecting and removing these types of viruses.

  • Configure Regular Scans and Monitor Settings

You should also automatically run scans every day or at alternate days and monitor your system for new threats. This will ensure that you don’t miss any infections that might be lurking on your computer system. It will also ensure that you don’t click on links or download files from suspicious websites without knowing what they contain or what they could do to your computer system if downloaded onto your device.

  • Keep a Tight Grip on Your Personal Information

Before you share any personal information online, keep it safe by using 2-Step Verification and strong passwords that can’t be guessed with software or brute force attacks. You should also use an antivirus app on your computer and mobile device to scan files for viruses before they’re opened or saved. Also, don’t open any suspicious links in emails or texts — they can contain malware that can infect your computer or device if clicked on.

  • Always Update Your Operating System

Make sure you have the latest version of your operating system installed. If a new update is available, it will prompt you with a notification. If you do not install it immediately, an attacker may be able to access your computer and install malware. You should also keep your antivirus software up-to-date with the most recent security patches available.

Malware Protection: Stop Malware spread through bad emails

So, what is malware and how it affects your computer’s working might be clear to you now. Cybercriminals use malware to infect networks and systems and obtain access to the data that is stored on the same. 

Depending on the type of malware, the programs start different actions. The spectrum includes everything from bad data deletion to converting user input sniffing. Malware threatens every user group, including personal and business users. No security solution can promise 100% security because malware is constantly evolving and creating new variants. However, there are recognized behavioral standards for minimizing the virtual attack surface including DMARC. 

To start preventing Malware from spreading through bad emails, deploy DMARC at your organization today with a DMARC trial. No credit card or account details needed!

Do you do commercial or professional email campaigns? Are you interested in implementing DMARC records for email security and validation? Do you want to know DMARC requirements before implementing them?

As you know, to improve email interaction and defend your domain from email impersonation attacks, you can set up a DMARC authentication scheme.

But before that, let’s look at DMARC and DMARC requirements. 

DMARC: Email Authentication Made Easy

A technical standard is DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, which aids in defending email senders and recipients against spam, spoofing, and phishing. 

DMARC is a security protocol used to detect and stop phishing attacks. It is also known as Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC). An organization can publish a policy using DMARC that outlines its email authentication procedures and tells recipient mail servers how to enforce them. 

In particular, DMARC creates a way for a domain holder to:

  • Post the email authentication procedures online.
  • Indicate the steps that should be followed if mail authentication checks fail.
  • Allow for reporting the activities made in response to the mails from its domain.

Although it is drawn on the essential authentication standards: SPF and DKIM, DMARC is not an email authentication mechanism. Because SMTP lacks tools for creating or specifying policies for email authentication, it supplements SMTP with the same. Note that SMTP is a fundamental protocol used to send an email.

What Does DMARC Do?

The advantages of using DMARC records:

  • DMARC safeguards you and your company from email phishing, domain spoofing, email impersonation, and business email compromise (BEC) threats.
  • Email sender reputation is improved by DMARC enforcement.
  • DMARC gradually raises your email deliverability rate by 10%.
  • By implementing DMARC on your domain server, you can ensure that your emails are never marked as spam, which will increase open rates.

Additionally, companies can easily track who is permitted to send business emails from their domain. This enables you to avoid dishonest practices. How? All receiving email servers will verify incoming emails to confirm legitimacy before delivering them to recipients’ inboxes once you publish your domain’s DMARC record into the DNS entry. However, you must know basic DMARC requirements before implementing them. 

Complete list of DMARC Requirements

Here are some DMARC requirements you must fulfil before implementing DMARC records regulations.

  • Authentication using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

Both SPF and DKIM are optional; they can be used independently or together. You don’t have to use both of them. 

The essential components that defend you and your email receivers from bogus impersonation and scams include Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). 

  • Authentication Using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

SPF authentication verifies that the domain you’re sending mail from is the same as your domain. SPF authentication uses a TXT record in your DNS to indicate whether or not your domain has passed the SPF test.

SPF alignment is a method of ensuring that all outgoing mail from your domain is sent using an authenticator (usually a DKIM signature) that matches the identity of your server, which is stored in DNS. If two servers communicate, one can use its DKIM to send an email but claim it is coming from another. 

It happens when someone who shouldn’t have been able to make changes on your server made some misconfiguration. In this case, one server will send messages via SMTP, and the other server will see them arriving but won’t be able to figure out their content or source.

What does it mean when you say that your email passes SPF?

Use an email service provider (like Gmail) that supports SPF. When you send an email with your domain name in the From field, the system will check that the IP address of the machine sending the message matches one or more DNS records associated with your domain.

    • If it matches any records, that machine is authorized to send mail on behalf of your domain.
    • If it doesn’t match any records, that machine isn’t authorized and should not be allowed to send mail on behalf of your domain.
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DKIM is one of the DMARC requirements. This authentication is a way of ensuring that your email is properly authenticated. It’s a bit like the old days of opening an envelope with your name mentioned on it, but this time it’s digital.

DKIM alignment is when you send an email from one domain and have it matched to a DKIM record from another. The idea is that if the recipient sees the email from one domain, but the DKIM record claims that it came from another domain, they should be able to tell the difference between those two things – and you might be in trouble if they couldn’t.

DMARC works by asking senders to authenticate their emails using DKIM or SPF so that recipients can tell if they’re genuine or not. It also asks them to align their DNS records against those created by SPF or DKIM tool makers.

If you’re experiencing problems with email delivery, there may be a problem with the DKIM authentication mechanism. You can check the state of email validation on your domain with PowerDMARC’s free DKIM Record Lookup and DKIM tester tool. The most straightforward way to check a DKIM record while on the road is to use our DKIM lookup tool.

  • Set Up a Group or Mailbox for Reports

Depending on how much email your domain transmits, various DMARC reports may be sent to you through email. Every day, you might receive a lot of reports. Large corporations may receive up to thousands of reports every day.

To receive and manage DMARC reports, DMARC requires you to set up a group or a particular mailbox.

  • Obtain Your Domain Host Login Credentials

DMARC is activated at the company that hosts your domain, not in the Google Admin panel. Therefore, you’ll need your domain host account’s login credentials.

  • Ensuring Authenticated Third-Party Mail (Advanced DMARC Requirement)

DMARC can control suspicious email more efficiently when it receives messages from your domain. To send mail for business purposes, you can utilize a third-party provider, for instance, to manage your marketing email.

It’s possible that legitimate emails sent from outside email providers for your domain don’t pass SPF or DKIM checks. Messages that fail to pass these tests may be subject to the DMARC policy action. They can be rejected or forwarded to spam. So, the SPF record for your domain should now include the IP address of the sending mail servers used by the provider.

Final Words

If you want to implement DMARC, you must fulfill DMARC requirements. For this, consult with your email service provider to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your organization’s email communications. Not only will you improve your email security, but you’ll also be able to improve your customer relationships by ensuring that your emails are being delivered to the correct recipients. To get started, contact PowerDMARC today to take a free DMARC trial!

Email multi-factor authentication is a method of authenticating a user using more than one method. It’s commonly used to secure online banking and other financial transactions but is also helpful for anything that needs a secure connection that can’t be accessed by just your password alone.

There are several different types of multi-factor authentication systems out there—some use two-factor authentication while others deploy a multilayered approach towards sender verification—but they all have one thing in common: they’re designed to make sure that only authorized users can access the service they’re trying to provide.

What is multi-factor authentication?

Multi-factor authentication is a security measure that requires more than just a password to access a device or system. It’s also used for authentication in situations where the user’s password is compromised, such as through phishing attacks. Multi-factor authentication can be a great way to help ensure that your email accounts and other sensitive systems remain secure.

Multi-factor authentication uses two or more different forms of identification to verify the identity of a user when logging into an account or accessing sensitive data. In most cases, this includes something physical, like a phone number or fingerprint scan, but it can also include something digital, like a token that stores information on an app on your phone (like Google Authenticator).

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions—for example if someone has stolen your phone or SIM card they could log into your accounts without using their own phone (but they wouldn’t be able to change any passwords).

How does email multi-factor authentication take place?

Email multi-factor authentication is a way to ensure that the email you’re sending has not been tampered with by hackers.

In most cases, you’ll need to use two different forms of verification to complete the email signup.

The first form of verification is usually some sort of code that you enter on your computer or mobile device. This can be a password, a passcode, or even something like a fingerprint reader.

Once you’ve entered that code, you may be asked to enter another code (which is usually sent via SMS or text message). This second code can also be used as an alternative to entering your regular password when logging into your account.

Why enable Email multi-factor authentication?

If you’re a business owner, you know how to handle customer issues, but what do you do when they don’t respond?

It’s not a good feeling to have your emails go unanswered. It can be even more frustrating if you haven’t set up email multi-factor authentication (MFA) for your business. Multi-factor authentication means that the user has to enter their password and then an additional code sent by text message or a phone call before they can gain access to their account. This ensures that only those who are allowed to access your account will be able to do so—and that no one else can get into it without first providing their own passwords or codes.

Here are some reasons why you should enable MFA for your email:

  • Better security: You won’t have anyone logging into your accounts without having a different method of verification than just entering their password. This helps prevent hackers from trying to steal data from your system by using simple brute force attacks on weak passwords.
  • More customers: Most people are scared of having to enter their passwords over and over again when they log in—especially if they forget them! Multi-factor authentication makes this easier for them because they can use an app instead of typing in codes manually

How to set up Email Multi-Factor Authentication for Microsoft 365

Step 1: To manage MFA, make sure you are a global administrator

Step 2: Turn off legacy per-user MFA.

How to turn it off? 

  • Log in to the Microsoft 365 admin center
  • On the left-side navigation menu, select Users > Active users to open the Active Users page
  • On the page, click on Multi-factor authentication to open the multi-factor authentication page
  • Here you would need to select each user and turn off multi-factor authentication for them by toggling the status bar to Disabled.

Step 3: On the Microsoft 365 admin center click on Show all > Azure Active Directory Admin Center

Step 4: Select Azure Active Directory > Properties > Manage Security defaults

Step 5: On the Managed Security defaults page, enable Security defaults by clicking on the Yes button. Save changes to your modifications.

How to set up Email Multi-Factor Authentication for Zoho

Step 1: Login to your Zoho account 

Step 2: On the left-side navigation bar, click on Multi-Factor Authentication

Step 3: The next step would be to download the Zoho OneAuth mobile app. You can do so by navigating to the Zoho OneAuth section and entering your mobile number.

Step 4: Login to your Zoho mobile app using your Zoho Mail credentials and select your preferred email multi-factor authentication mode to enable it

How to set up Email Multi-Factor Authentication for GMAIL

Step 1: Login to your Google account

Step 2: Click on the Security option from the left-side navigation panel

Step 3: On the Security page navigate to “Signing in to Google” 

Step 4: Now click on 2-Step Verification > Get started and follow on-screen instructions to enable email multi-factor authentication for Gmail

Take your email’s security posture to the next level with email authentication

Adding another “factor” to your email’s security posture is always a good idea, Major email service providers like Gmail, Outlook and Zoho Mail recommend domain owners enable email authentication protocols like DMARC for protection against spoofing, phishing and ransomware attacks perpetrated through fake emails. 

To enable authentication for your emails with DMARC: 

  • Sign up on the DMARC analyzer portal 
  • Register your domains on the dashboard to get started 
  • The rest of the process is handled by DMARC experts starting with helping you generate a couple of essential records that need to be published 
  • After the configurations are completed you will have access to a full-stack email authentication suite and fully automated portal that will help you monitor your authentication results, email deliverability issues, and more! 

You can start your journey towards a safer email experience by enabling email multi-factor authentication and verifying your sending source with a free DMARC trial.

Email encryption is the process of scrambling and disguising the contents of an email so that only the intended recipient can read it.

Email encryption is a way to protect your emails from being intercepted by people who might want to steal sensitive information, such as passwords or personal details. It is also useful if your employer wants to see all of your emails and you want them to be private.

What is email encryption? 

Encryption is the process of encoding a message in such a way that only authorized users have the ability to read it. The goal of email encryption is to make sure that your emails are safe from prying eyes and can only be read by those you trust.

Email encryption is important because it protects your personal information and helps prevent your email address from being abused. If someone wants to steal your personal information or harass you, they can use an email address like yours without worrying about getting caught.

The process of email encryption

When you send an email message, it goes through multiple steps in order to ensure that only the intended recipient can read it. The first step is called “encryption,” and it scrambles your message so that only someone who has access to the right key can decrypt it. 

The second step is called “decryption,” and it allows recipients to retrieve their original messages without having to go through encryption steps first—they just need to know where their keys are stored so they can retrieve their own messages from there.

How to encrypt email: The various types of email encryption

1. S/MIME email encryption

S/MIME stands for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. It’s a way of encrypting a message so that only the intended recipient can get it. It’s useful for sensitive data like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and bank account info.

This process involves two parts: one part where the message is encrypted and another part where it is decrypted. The encryption happens before the recipient receives it; then they decrypt it before reading it. This keeps them from seeing any private data or information that might be included in your email.

You can send encrypted emails using any of your favorite email clients—including Gmail and Outlook—or by using apps like Thunderbird or Apple Mail if you have an iPhone or iPad.

2. PGP email encryption

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) — This is a kind of public-key encryption used by activists and journalists who have something to hide from governments and corporate interests that might want to intercept their messages or other digital communications.

It’s also used by corporations as an alternative to commercial software solutions like Symantec’s Norton Secure Web Gateway (NSGW) product line. PGP works by creating a digital signature on each message that requires both parties’ public keys before they’re exchanged over the Internet. 

It was developed by Philip R. Zimmermann in 1991. It’s a method for encrypting messages and files with a public key. Using this encryption method, any message can only be read by someone who has access to your public key and who knows the secret passphrase that unlocks that key pair. That makes it extremely secure—even if someone cracks your private key, they won’t be able to read any of your messages.

3. Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Transport Layer Security, or TLS, is a protocol used to encrypt communications between a client and a server. It’s also used when you connect to a website using HTTPS.

What does this mean for email encryption? When you’re sending an email, the transport layer security protects your message from being read by anyone who intercepts it as it travels through the internet. This helps protect your messages from getting intercepted by hackers or surveillance agencies.

But what if someone steals your phone or computer? The transport layer security would still protect your emails while they’re in transit—it’s just that there wouldn’t be any way to read them unless they had access to both ends of the conversation.

Now it is important to note that TLS encryption in SMTP is opportunistic to make it backward compatible. MTA-STS is an excellent mechanism to enforce TLS encryption. It ensures emails are not delivered if an encrypted connection cannot be established between two communicating SMTP servers. This helps you make sure your business emails (which often contain sensitive company information) are encrypted in transit and cannot be intercepted by man-in-the-middle attackers. 

Email Encryption Vs Email Authentication 

Email encryption and email authentication are two different ways to ensure that the emails you send are secure. Email encryption is the process of encoding a message so that it cannot be read by anyone who does not have the key. Email authentication is verifying that the message came from a legitimate sender, not from an attacker who has obtained your password.

Definitions 

Email Encryption: The process of encoding information into a format that is not readable by anyone except those who have access to a key or password (typically usernames and passwords). Email encryption services are also called end-to-end encryption services because they encrypt all messages in transit between sender and receiver so that only those with access to their respective keys can decrypt them.

Email Authentication: The process of verifying a sender’s identity based on information provided by both sender and receiver using specific algorithms or protocols. Once verified, it can be used as evidence in court cases where fraud and other crimes are committed using email addresses

The key difference between these two methods is that email encryption requires you to use a specific application or tool, whereas email authentication does not. It’s important to note that these technologies are not mutually exclusive—they can be used together as part of a comprehensive security solution.

To enable email authentication at your organization there is no better place to start than with a DMARC analyzer. It will help you automate your implementation, prevent manual errors and provide an added layer of security on top of your existing email encryption measures.