Ramp Up Security And Email Delivery With SMTP DKIM

SMTP DKIM

Email deliver-ability is one of the most prevalent concerns of many business owners. And rightly so, low delivery rates hurt the bottom line of a business especially if email is the key communication tool of the company. There are many ways to address this issue. One of the most effective methods used by major enterprises these days is SMTP DKIM or Domain-keys Identified Mail.


What is DKIM?

DKIM is one way of authenticating your email through a digital signature. When an email includes your digital signature, that means you or your organization bears responsibility for the email.

Why Use DKIM?

Typically, an SMTP sends an email from a particular domain indiscriminately. In this insecure environment, spammers can forge email addresses and send mail that looks like it is from a trusted brand. Say you own yourbusiness.com, a spammer can send mail using an address like admin@yourbusiness.com to dupe people into giving out their personal information or the like.
When you use DKIM, however, all your emails will bear your digital signature, which at the same time, is also published on your DNS. Thus, receivers (i.e. Yahoo! or Gmail) will check the authenticity of the mail by verifying the email signature and comparing it to the published signature on your DNS. All emails claiming to be from your domain that don't have the digital signature will most likely be regarded as spam.

SMTP Email Servers DKIM Options

If you outsource your email delivery to a third party SMTP email server, you will then be using the service provider's SMTP API to integrate it to your domain. Once that is done, you can send email quickly, using DKIM technology to ensure deliver-ability. Most providers of this service offer two options to their customers:

Default DKIM

Lower tier packages typically provide default DKIM. For instance, many free and basic packages send all mails with a DKIM signature using the service provider's domain. And since your domain is not specified, instead of being verified using your published DNS key, the provider will add a sender header that is used for verification.

Customized DKIM

For higher tier packages, most services provide a white-labeling setup that allows DKIM customization. Since your email signature is checked against your published DNS key, you have to ensure that you don't make changes to your DNS that may affect the verification of your key.
DKIM is used not only to improve email deliver-ability, but also to protect your subscribers and your brand from negative issues arising from the misuse of your organization's name for some unscrupulous individual's malicious activities. So, in that sense, SMTP DKIM does not only address deliver-ability issues, it also helps with security issues as well.

Technology has simplified how most tasks are done today. Unfortunately, the same advantage is also available to individuals with less-than-honorable intentions. That's why the task of ramping up security -- and consequently, email deliver-ability -- falls on the shoulders of well-meaning individuals like you. Luckily, you have the technology for that too.


About Author
Anne Harvester is aware of information regarding the many options of DKIM that are available. Anne refers to Send Grid to get advice on services provided at a great price.


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