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Step-By-Step Guide: How To Create Dmarc Records For Email Security

Mar 9

Email security is a critical concern for individuals and organizations alike. With the rise of phishing attacks, spoofing, and other malicious activities, implementing robust email security measures is essential. Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is a powerful email authentication protocol designed to combat email fraud and improve email deliverability. By implementing DMARC, organizations can authenticate their emails, prevent domain spoofing, and gain better visibility into their email ecosystem.


What is DMARC?

DMARC is an email authentication protocol that builds upon two existing authentication mechanisms: Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). It allows domain owners to specify how their emails should be handled if they fail authentication checks. DMARC provides domain owners with visibility into who is sending emails on behalf of their domain and allows them to take action against unauthorized senders.


Why is DMARC Important?

Implementing DMARC offers several benefits:

Prevention of Domain Spoofing: DMARC helps prevent domain spoofing by allowing domain owners to specify which email sources are authorized to send emails on their behalf.

Improved Email Deliverability: By authenticating emails using SPF and DKIM, organizations can improve their email deliverability rates. ISPs and email service providers are more likely to deliver authenticated emails to recipients' inboxes.

Visibility and Control: DMARC provides domain owners with valuable insights into their email ecosystem. They can see who is sending emails using their domain and take action against unauthorized senders.


Creating DMARC Records: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to create DMARC records for your domain:


Step 1: Understand Your Current Email Infrastructure

Before implementing DMARC, it's essential to understand your current email infrastructure. Identify all the sources that send emails on behalf of your domain, including your email service provider, marketing automation platforms, and any third-party vendors.


Step 2: Set Up SPF and DKIM

DMARC relies on SPF and DKIM for email authentication. Ensure that SPF and DKIM are correctly configured for your domain. SPF specifies which IP addresses are allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain, while DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails to verify their authenticity.



Step 3: Create a DMARC Record

To create a DMARC record, you need to publish a DNS TXT record for your domain. The DMARC record specifies how receiving mail servers should handle emails that fail authentication checks. Here's a basic DMARC record template: TXT "v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; sp=none; aspf=r; adkim=r;"

Let's break down the components of the DMARC record:

  • v: The protocol version. Use "v=DMARC1" to specify DMARC version 1.
  • p: The policy for handling emails that fail authentication checks. Options include "none," "quarantine," and "reject."
  • rua: Specifies the email address(es) to which aggregate reports should be sent.
  • ruf: Specifies the email address(es) to which forensic reports should be sent.
  • sp: The policy for subdomains. Options include "none," "quarantine," and "reject."
  • aspf: Alignment mode for SPF.
  • adkim: Alignment mode for DKIM.

Replace "" with your actual domain and adjust the policy and email addresses as needed.



Step 4: Publish the DMARC Record

Once you've created the DMARC record, publish it to your DNS. Log in to your DNS provider's dashboard and add a new TXT record with the specified DMARC settings.


Step 5: Monitor and Analyze Reports

After publishing the DMARC record, monitor the aggregate and forensic reports you receive. These reports provide valuable insights into your email traffic, including sources of unauthorized emails and authentication failures. Analyze the reports regularly to identify any issues and adjust your DMARC policy accordingly.


Step 6: Gradually Enforce Policy

If you're starting with a "none" policy, consider gradually enforcing stricter policies such as "quarantine" and "reject" as you gain confidence in your email authentication setup. Be cautious when moving to stricter policies to avoid unintended consequences. You can visit website to learn more about create DMARC Records.



DMARC Policy Options

When creating your DMARC record, you have several policy options to choose from:

  • None: With the "none" policy, receiving mail servers will not take any action based on DMARC results. This is often used initially for monitoring purposes without impacting email delivery.
  • Quarantine: The "quarantine" policy instructs receiving mail servers to treat emails that fail DMARC authentication with suspicion. These emails may be delivered to the recipient's spam or junk folder.
  • Reject: The "reject" policy is the strictest option, directing receiving mail servers to reject emails that fail DMARC authentication outright. This ensures that unauthorized emails are not delivered to the recipient's inbox.

Choose the policy that aligns with your organization's risk tolerance and email security requirements.


Best Practices for DMARC Implementation

To maximize the effectiveness of your DMARC implementation, consider the following best practices:

  • Gradual Rollout: Start with a "none" policy to monitor email traffic and ensure legitimate emails are not mistakenly blocked. Gradually tighten the policy as you gain confidence in your email authentication setup.
  • Monitor DMARC Reports: Regularly review DMARC aggregate and forensic reports to identify authentication failures, unauthorized senders, and potential issues with your email infrastructure.
  • Alignment: Ensure that SPF and DKIM alignment settings (aspf and adkim) are correctly configured to align with the "r" (relaxed) or "s" (strict) policies of your DMARC record. This helps prevent false positives and improves email deliverability.
  • Policy Testing: Test your DMARC policy thoroughly before enforcing stricter policies. Send test emails from various sources to verify that legitimate emails are not being blocked and that unauthorized emails are being appropriately handled.
  • Collaboration: Work closely with your IT and security teams, as well as third-party email service providers, to implement DMARC effectively. Collaboration ensures that all stakeholders are aligned and that potential issues are addressed promptly.