Learn To Create SPF Record In 5 Easy Steps

Email marketers in the digital age create SPF records for distinguishing themselves from spammers. Presently, SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a must-have to ensure the secure delivery of emails. It is an email authentication type, using which one can prevent emails from getting forged. The SPF authentication protocol allows organizations to mark out the IP addresses approved to send emails on their behalf. Strategically deployed, enterprises can secure their goodwill from spammers and phishers using SPF.

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Creating An SPF Record: How To Go About It?

One can implement SPF records by following the steps presented below.

Shortlisting IP Addresses

The first step is collecting all the IP addresses that the organization would be using to dispatch emails. Therefore, it needs to identify and list down all the mail servers. They may include the mail server of the organization’s ISP, third-party mail servers, the mail server of the mailbox provider of the end-users, web server, or in-office servers like MS Exchange used to send emails.

Listing Of The Sending Domains

Most of the enterprises own multiple domains. They would probably be using some of these domains while dispatching emails. However, they have to create SPF records of every domain under their control, including the domains not used for sending emails. The reason is that when primary domains are protected by using SPF, attackers will attempt spoofing with the other domains.

Creating The SPF Record

The process starts with the ‘Version 1’ tag, followed by the IP addresses with authority to dispatch mails. Organizations that have been using third-parties to send emails on behalf of the respective domain need to insert an ‘include’ statement in the record. In the process, the third party would be recognized as a legitimate sender. The ‘All’ tag is added to the record after including all the designated IP addresses and the statements.

Publishing The SPFs To DNS

Now that the SPF record is available, the next step is publishing it to DNS. Organizations need to work with the respective server administrators. In the process, mail providers would be able to reference it. Enterprises using hosting providers would find the process simple enough. However, sometimes the ISP manages the DNS records. Typically, email service providers publish these records on behalf of the users.

Testing SPF Records

An SPF record check or test is necessary to ensure its accuracy. It is similar to the DKIM record check or DMARC record check when using DKIM or DMARC authentication methods. The process can be carried out using a tool such as an SPF checker. It enables verification of the record components and modification if any discrepancy is found. The check also adds any missed IP address. For instance, an SPF record check Google – Gsuite can be performed to ensure that SPF records are proper for any of your domains managed by G-Suite. Thus the record is perfected and becomes capable of authenticating emails sent to the recipients on behalf of the domain.

A domain protected by SPF would repel malicious actors looking for phishing and spamming opportunities, and the latter would eventually be blacklisted. This mechanism also guarantees that legitimate emails from the respective domains are delivered without fail. Due to these benefits, enterprises, especially ones that have adopted a strong email marketing strategy, invariably create SPF records as a robust safeguard against online adversaries, leveraging their efficiency and reputation.

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