You can fight to spam using Sender Policy Framework (SPF). This protocol will eventually become one of the well-known ways to combat spam on the Internet. The DNS zone file for a domain contains a TXT record and an SPF record. After adding this entry to the DNS zone, no more configuration is required to use servers that implement SPF checking. Similar to adding a standard A, MX, or CNAME record, you add the SPF record checker.
Before diving into how to set up your domain SPF without errors, let us understand what SPF is.
What Is SPF?
SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It is a technical protocol that is used to prevent email spoofing and increase the deliverability of legitimate emails. The SPF protocol allows email servers to verify that the sender of an email message can send emails.
When you email, the receiving email server will perform an SPF check by looking up the SPF record. The SPF record lists all the IP addresses and domains that may send emails on behalf of the domain.
SPF records protected about 20% of the spam and 40% of the non-spam messages received by Google Mail.
To know more, read How to Protect Against Email Spoofing with SPF?
SPF Used Mechanisms
Some of the commonly used mechanisms in SPF records include:
- “a”: specifies the domain’s A record (IPv4 address) is authorized to send emails.
- “mx”: specifies the domain’s MX record (mail exchange record) is authorized to send emails.
- “include”: specifies another domain’s SPF record is authorized to send emails.
- “ip4”: specifies an IPv4 address that may send emails.
- “ip6”: specifies an IPv6 address that may send emails.
SPF is an important component of email authentication that helps prevent email spoofing and increase the deliverability of legitimate emails. Setting up an SPF check record for domain, it ensures that your emails are delivered to recipients’ inboxes.
Step-by-step Guide For Setting Up Your Domain Sender Policy Framework Without Errors
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a technical protocol that prevents email spoofing by verifying the sender’s identity. It is a crucial component of email authentication and email service providers use it to determine legitimate incoming emails.
Here are the steps to set up your domain Sender Policy Framework (SPF) without errors:
Step 1: Determine your domain’s DNS hosting provider
To set up your domain’s SPF, you need to know which DNS hosting provider handles your domain’s DNS TXT records. You can find this information by performing a DNS lookup on your domain name.
Step 2: Access your DNS settings
Once you have determined your DNS hosting provider, you need to access your DNS settings. You can do this by logging in domain registrar or DNS hosting provider’s website and navigating to the DNS settings section.
Step 3: Create a new SPF record
Next, you need to generate SPF record for your domain. The syntax for an SPF record is:
v=spf1 [mechanisms] -all
The “mechanisms” part of the record defines which email servers can send emails on behalf of your domain. Common mechanisms include:
- include: specifies another domain’s SPF record validator to include in yours.
- a: specifies an IPv4 address or domain name that can send emails on behalf of your domain.
- mx: specifies that any mail server listed in your domain’s MX records can send emails on behalf of your domain.
- ip4: specifies an IPv4 address that can send emails on behalf of your domain.
- ip6: specifies an IPv6 address that can send emails on behalf of your domain.
For example, if you want to allow your own mail server and Google’s Gmail servers to send emails on behalf of your domain, your SPF lookup & record might look like this:
v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.google.com -all
Step 4: Publish your SPF record
Once you have created your SPF record, you need to publish it by saving the record in your DNS settings. Depending on your DNS hosting provider, this may involve adding a new TXT record with the value of your SPF record. You can also edit an existing TXT record to include your SPF record.
Step 5: Verify your SPF record
After publishing your SPF records, it is important to verify that it has been set up correctly. You can use online SPF record checkers, such as the SPF Record Testing Tools by DMARC Analyzer. It can verify that your SPF record has been set up correctly and works as intended.
The Bottom Line
To set up SPF with no errors, you need to determine your DNS hosting provider using an online SPF record checker. By following these steps, you can help prevent email spoofing and increase the deliverability of your emails.
This makes SPF implementation essential. By telling ESPs and ISPs that only approved host names or IP addresses can send emails from your company domain. It enhances credibility and reputation.
SPF alone is insufficient. As cyberattacks get increasingly sophisticated, organisations must use strong standards to safeguard their domains. Therefore, you also need DMARC security. Using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC pricing plans will boost domain reputation besides domain security. When you want to receive the best domain spoofing prevention and improve your domain’s standing, GoDMARC is your one-stop shop.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How can I check if SPF alignment is failing?
You can use online tools or services that check email authentication to verify if SPF alignment is failing. These tools will analyze email headers and SPF records to determine if they match.
Q2. What causes SPF alignment failure?
SPF alignment can fail for several reasons, including incorrect SPF lookup configuration, multiple SPF records, and email forwarding.
Q3. How can I fix SPF alignment issues?
To fix SPF alignment issues, you need to update the SPF record and adjust email forwarding settings. It is best to contact the email service provider for help. It’s important to identify the cause of the issue before taking action.
Q4. How long does it take to fix SPF alignment issues?
The time to fix SPF alignment issues can vary depending on the cause of the issue and the steps taken to resolve it. Changes to DNS records can take time to propagate, which can delay resolution.