Many novice website owners often find themselves asking what is DMARC and why is it so important to set up. A DMARC record informs all the major ISPs like Gmail and Microsoft that the organization’s domain is configured to deploy DMARC. When the organization enters its DMARC records into the DNS (Domain Name System) record, it can find out who is sending emails from what appears to be its domain.
If you want to know what exactly a DMARC record is and why it is important, continue reading to find out.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is an email authenticating mechanism that prevents an organization’s domain from hackers who may try to use the domain for spoofing, phishing scams, and other fraudulent activities like a data breach, invoice fraud etc. DMARC thus safeguards the organization’s brand domain and stops hackers from impersonating it to send phishing emails to the staff and clients of the organization.
A DMARC record is a requirement for applying DMARC on emails. It is published in DNS with a subdomain label by a DMARC record generator. Without configuring the DMARC record, the domain will be vulnerable, and hackers will find it easy to attack and misuse it for their malicious activities.
DMARC record for a domain when published in the DNS records informs the world that the domain is configured to use DMARC. A DMARC policy then provides a set of guidelines that are intended to prevent safeguard email delivery and prevent the hackers from using the domain for spoofing and sending emails.
An email authenticating service can assist the organization in entering its list or DMARC record in the DNS, and then a DMARC analyzing component of the service allows the organization to monitor DMARC through a dashboard.
Purpose of DMARC Record
DMARC Record thus serves two main purposes.
- Firstly it informs the recipient service what to do with the message. The email is subjected to some actions based on the organization’s policy, given its risk tolerance. The email is either sent to the end user’s inbox without any action. Alternatively, it is subjected to quarantine and sent to a spam folder where it is evaluated manually for its content nature. Thirdly, it is rejected right away if it fails the DMARC email authentication test. If the particular domain has a published DMARC Record in its DNS, the recipient’s email server will act according to the policy.
- The second purpose of the DMARC record is to send a report to the email address with information about the messages sent from the domain.
In case a domain has not published its DMARC Record, the recipient’s email service provider will decide on its own about the message delivery. However, it is better to have a DMARC record published so that the organization’s domain is safe from hackers and email services have clear instructions about email delivery in case the messages do not pass the DMARC test.