Email authentication helps validate who is sending emails. Email authentication methods can help protect your domain, your brand, your reputation, as well as help improve deliverability overall. Here we understand what and how’s of email authentication and what happens after you hit the button send.
Email authentication isn’t just about security – it’s also about deliverability. By putting records in place and authenticating your emails, you can protect your brand and help your emails successfully reach the inbox. It helps in preventing email fraud, improve your email deliverability, and ensure continued delivery.
The key methods of email authentication used today are:
1. SPF is a mechanism by which a receiving domain can check whether an email has originated from a sending IP that is authorized to send emails on behalf of the admins of a given domain. When you create an SPF record, you put in place a list of IPs/sending hosts that are authorized to send mail on behalf of your domain.
2. DKIM is a cryptographic signature-based method to authenticate email senders. DKIM assists in the two things:
· It helps safely determine that the owner of the domain (where the DKIM key is) did in fact send the email.
· Confirms receiving mail server can also see that the contents of the email were not changed or modified in transit between the sender and the recipient.
3. Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) – Standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication using the SPF and DKIM mechanisms. A DMARC record is published alongside your DNS records and requires both SPF and DKIM to pass. It also requires the from address domain and the domain used in the message’s authentication to match.
4. Transport Layer Security (TLS) – Refers to encryption of web traffic between web server and the recipient’s server. TLS enhances the privacy between sender and recipient using which critical information, documentation is sent. When you send an email using TLS, your email service will ask the receiving email provider to start the secure connection. If it can do so, the sending service will share the necessary list of protocols and ciphers needed to encrypt the message content. Then, the email sends securely to the recipient using a public key to encrypt and a private key to decrypt the message.