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Best Practice Guide
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WHAT IS EMAIL AUTHENTICATION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Authentication technology allows the receiver of an email and the Internet
Service Provider (ISP) to confirm the identity of the sender. If the identity of
the sender can not be authenticated, then ISPs may reject the message, or put
it through additional filters to determine if it should be delivered. Without
authentication, your chances of being filtered or blocked by major ISPs are
Email authentication is important because it addresses one of the fundamental
security problems inherent to email sending technology. By exploiting such
weaknesses spammers, phishers and spoofers have been able to thrive.
Authentication is integral to preventing phishing and other fraud while playing
a key role in the emerging reputation and accreditation systems that will drive
the future of email. As a legitimate business, authentication is not optional;
rather it is essential to securing your brand and online reputation. This paper
provides guidelines and recommendations for legitimate businesses seeking to
improve their deliverability rates and protect their brand from domain forgery
and phishing scams.
HOW DOES AUTHENTICATION WORK?
ISPs are utilizing two primary methods of authentication: IP and cryptographic.
The IP solution ties a responsible sending domain back to a set of permitted IP
addresses, which requires publishing text (TXT) records in the Domain Name
Service (DNS) record for each of your domains. Examples of an IP-based solution
are SPF and Sender ID. Cryptographic authentication signs each message in a
way that is difficult to forge, proving that the message came from the indicated
sending domain. An example of a cryptographic approach is Yahoo! Domain
Today there is no single method accepted by all ISPs so bu