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Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) Explained

Cybercrime continues to grow and email is one of the main ways cybercriminals try to gain access to computers and networks. When an email is secured with encryption along with a header added to the message it is much safer and many phishing schemes are then unable to get through. The implementation for emails is done at the server level and is not visible to users. These security standards help improve email deliverability on behalf of your domain by protecting it against malicious emails. To make it more productive, it must be used with a DKIM record and DMARC. If you are wondering what is DKIM, in this article, we will explain it in detail so you can continue to improve your email security.

What is DKIM?

DKIM is also known as ‘Domain Keys Identified Mail’ and is mainly used for sending authenticated emails from specific servers. It has a lot of similarities with SPF; one such is its usage for DMARC alignment. The DKM record is known to be more complicated when compared to SPF. However, it can survive email forwarding, which makes it superior to SPF.

How does DKIM work?

The DKIM signature recognizes the sender’s public DKIM KEY whenever the mail server receives any message. However the variables in the signature helps in determining the look of the key. The key is used for decrypting the DKIM signature, and later, the value is compared to receiving mail. In both of their matches, the DKIM is said to be valid.

Benefits of using DKIM

Firstly it safeguards the integrity of the message and assures that content has not been changed while sending.

Then it increases the reputation of the domain and email deliverability.

Additionally, it utilizes the DMARC for its email authentication.

How to implement DKIM?

DKIM can be tested by using domain settings or with the DKIM inspector’s diagnostic tool. It checks the public part of the DKIM signature while using the selector to check whether the DNS has been implemented and formatted correctly in the domain.

What happens when DKIM fails?

If the DKIM fails or the d= value doesn’t match with the header and the signature. In this case, the delivery can be negatively impacted, and the mail can be dropped in the spam folder or permanently blocked. It is also essential to identify if the failed messages are valid or malicious. If the source is recognized, one can set up the DKIM correctly, but if it is not recognized, then make sure to research it.

What is a DKIM record?

As we know that every small or big business nowadays solely depends on communication. The malicious attacks can take advantage of it by launching cyber crimes such as phishing. This can cause immense damage to the organization and its reputation. Domain keys identified mail safeguards such email by verifying that the contents have not been tampered with within the process.

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How to set up DKIM for your domain

DKIM isn’t a reliable way of authenticating the email sender’s identity as it has no role in spoofing the domain, which remains visible in the header of the mail. With DMARC, it can guarantee the same domain to be seen by the end-user as validated by DKIM. DMARC also provides the instructions of emails that don’t match with the policy enforcement.

The DKIM records consist of every crucial information which is needed during the verification of the email server. These keys for encryption are a private and public key that has access to the users. However, the private key remains with the user while the public key is shared with theirs while sending the mail. The key used by the recipient to open the sender’s mail isn’t through the public key.

What Is A DKIM Selector and Its Significance

The DKIM selector identifies the particular information of the public key through DKIM signatures. It is done by selecting the set, and the emails get assigned to those default selectors. One can also use multiple selectors to verify or control various users by using a DKIM key generator.

A selector handles various keys in a particular domain and holds great significance for the same. The private and public access is associated with a specified selector and is also locked with the same. Selectors work to make the functioning of the pair of keys possible.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what DKIM is, how it works to secure your emails, and how to set it up.

The post Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) Explained appeared first on Mike Gingerich.

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