DMARC requirements

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!

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