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What is DKIM?
Last modified on 21 April 2018 02:51 AM

DKIM, which stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail, is a method of email authentication. Through DKIM, the receiving mail exchangers are able to detect so-called email spoofing, a technique often used by spammers and phishers to forge an email address.

DKIM allows receiving mail exchangers to check if incoming mail from a domain is authorized by that domain’s administrators through cryptographic signatures. When an email is sent, DKIM adds a so called DKIM signature to the header of the email. When the email is received, the receiving mail exchanger retrieves the public key published within the DNS records of that domain, which is then used to check if the signature is correct.

If the signature is invalid, DKIM will not block the message. The exact implementation differs from mail handler to mail handler, but many will mark the signature as invalid and pass this information on to their spam filter. This in turn will make it more likely that the message will end up in the spam folder or even not be received at all.

However, DKIM is not necessarily a spam recognition aid. It is most useful for checking emails from reputable domains like banks, insurance companies and software services. If their message’s DKIM signature is not valid, by default, do not trust that email.



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