Email Security Basics: Enabling DomainKeys Identified Mail

Email Security

Email is a necessary and powerful tool every business needs to interact with clients and collaborate internally.

Unfortunately, email is also used to steal sensitive information, confidential documents and even money from businesses and individuals all over the world. This malicious behavior has made it difficult to trust the legitimacy and safety of email you receive in your Inbox.

It’s also created the need for you, as a domain owner, to provide some level of assurance about the authenticity of email you send to your clients.

There are simple steps you can take that are foundational to protecting your company’s email from impersonation. One bedrock feature in every email security strategy is enabling DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) signing for your domain’s email.

DKIM is an important first step towards securing your domain’s email. It’s a proven feature that’s been fully embraced by the email industry and adopted as a standard security practice. It’s also an easy-to-use feature in most mail providers’ administration portals.

Enabling DKIM provides a secure signature for all email sent from your domain. This signature uses a public/private key mechanism, allowing recipients of mail from your domain to authenticate that the message was sent from an approved service, such as your email hosting service, or bulk sending service.

DKIM authentication is based on the premise that only authorized senders have the information necessary to create a valid signature for your domain. Email providers that are receiving your email can then validate the signature using information you put in your domain’s public DNS. Signature validation helps ensure two things:

  • The identifying components of the message are not altered (sender, recipient(s), date of message, etc.)
  • The message contents are not altered

DKIM is now available at no additional cost for all of your hosted email products, except for Hosted Exchange 2007. Your team at Rackspace encourages you to log into your Cloud Office control panel and enable DKIM for all of your supported domains that send email.

We also recommend using DKIM as part of a larger email security strategy which includes other features, such as adding Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC).

If you would like information or assistance in enabling DKIM authentication for your domain’s email, please chat with your Cloud Office support team today using the Live Chat portal in the control panel.

And as always, visit Rackspace to find out more about our hosted email solutions and ways we help businesses of all sizes put efficient and secure email solutions in place.

Ben Smith is the technical product manager for Rackspace Email, and is passionate about email delivery. He has worked in the Blacksburg, VA office since 2013. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in software engineering.

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