The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication technique used to prevent spammers from forging or sending emails on behalf of your domain. This concept helps prevent spoofing of mails by allowing for whitelisting of addresses of mail servers that are allowed to send emails on behalf of the domain. With SPF, you can publish the authorized servers in your DNS Records. This will only allow emails to send from those servers to pass the authentication. Emails from addresses that do not exist in your records will be kept out. Through the process of encoding and decoding of messages, you can identify a trustworthy sender. It is also worth noting that these results are achieved more effectively when you use SPF together with Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC).
With cybercriminals devising ways of scamming your clients or customers by forging email addresses using your address, using the Sender Policy Framework will give you added security and confidentiality as only authorized server addresses will be allowed to send emails on your behalf.
How Does SPF Work?
For SPF to work effectively, the SPF Record must be published in the domain’s Domain Name System (DNS). The concept uses the domain in the return-path address to identify the SPF record. When a sender tries to send an email, the server performs checks to see if they are allowed to send or if their records exist in the DNS Records. If the record exists, the email is allowed through. If not, more checks are performed to establish whether the email is fake or unwanted. The published SPF Records dictate the rules for emailing.
At the receiving server, DNS lookups are performed on the incoming email to retrieve the SPF Records and examine the domain in the Return Path.
The email address will then be examined relative to the available records. If there is a match, it will be allowed to pass and be delivered to the receivers inbox. If there is a disconnect, the server will flag the email as suspicious or completely reject it based on the specified instructions.
With the digital world evolving spectacularly, You have to ensure that you are well protected and that your data is well guarded. Most cyber-attacks have been established to originate from the careless handling of emails. Do not leave yourself exposed. Employing SPF Records may not solve the entire problem, but it does help you take control of what emails you receive and which addresses are authorized to send on your behalf.
Also Read; How to scan your emails through cPanel.