DMARC, standing for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance, is a framework published in a domain’s public Domain Name System (DNS). It instructs receiving email servers on how to handle emails from that domain, particularly focusing on authentication and directing unauthenticated emails to either spam or outright rejection. Initially introduced to safeguard domains from spoofing and phishing threats, DMARC is increasingly crucial in today’s digital communication.
Why Implement a DMARC Policy?
With major email service providers like Yahoo! and Google escalating their email authentication standards in February 2024, having a DMARC policy has become more than a good practice – it’s a necessity. These policies verify that emails originating from your domain are authentic, significantly reducing the likelihood of your brand being implicated in phishing scams.
Creating Your DMARC Record
A DMARC record is a TXT record added to your DNS settings. It typically starts with “_dmarc.yourdomain.com” and includes a “p=” tag that dictates the action on emails failing DMARC checks: ‘none’ (no action), ‘quarantine’ (move to junk), or ‘reject’ (bounce back). For beginners, a “p=none” setting is advisable to avoid disrupting legitimate unauthenticated emails.
Publishing and Managing Your DMARC Record
After creating your DMARC record, it should be added to your DNS settings at your hosting provider. The process may vary slightly depending on the provider, but generally involves specifying the record type (TXT or DMARC), the hostname (_dmarc.yourdomain.com), and the value (e.g., v=DMARC1; p=none). For more detailed instructions, consult your hosting provider or IT department.
Understanding DMARC Alignment
Email providers check DMARC alignment using two methods: DKIM and SPF. DKIM alignment requires the ‘From’ domain to match the DKIM signature, while SPF alignment demands the header domain to align with the ‘From’ domain. These checks are pivotal in determining whether an email passes DMARC authentication.
Addressing DMARC-Related Bounces
DMARC-related bounces usually occur when emails are sent from domains with strict DMARC policies (p=quarantine or p=reject) without proper DKIM signing. Ensuring that all outgoing emails are appropriately authenticated is crucial to prevent such bounces.
For further information and resources on drafting and implementing a DMARC policy, visiting the following links is recommended:
Setting up a DMARC policy is integral for any domain owner looking to bolster email security and comply with evolving standards set by major email providers.
If you need help setting up your DMARC policy, contact us.