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Frequent Asked Questions about DMARC

These frequently asked questions provide an overview of DMARC, how it works, and its importance in email security for businesses and organizations.

IMPORTANT: As of February 2024, having DMARC, as well as SPF and DKIM, configured is a requirement for sending emails to Google and Yahoo servers.

What is DMARC?

DMARC, which stands for "Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance", is an email validation protocol designed to protect a company's domain from identity impersonation, phishing, and other types of email attacks. It uses a combination of SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) standards to verify that email messages are legitimate and come from authorized sources.

How does DMARC work?

DMARC works by verifying that emails sent from a specific domain are authorized by the domain's SPF and DKIM policies. When an email is received, the recipient's server checks the sender's domain DMARC record to see if the message complies with the authentication policies. If it does not, the DMARC protocol provides instructions on how to handle the message (for example, reject it or put it in quarantine).

What are the benefits of implementing DMARC?

Implementing DMARC helps to prevent abuse of a company's domain in phishing and spoofing attacks, improves the delivery ability of legitimate emails, and provides reports on impersonation attempts, allowing for a better understanding of and response to threats.

Is DANAconnect responsible for setting up my domain's DMARC?

No. DMARC configuration is a responsibility that generally falls on the IT team or the domain administrator of your organization. Here are some clarifications in this regard:
Domain Administrator Responsibility:
The DMARC configuration must be done in the domain name system (DNS) of your domain, which is normally a task for the domain administrator or the IT team of your company.

Role of Email Service Providers like DANAconnect:
While DANAconnect can provide recommendations or best practices for email setup and security, no employee of DANAconnect has access to the DNS systems of their clients to configure records like DMARC. DANAconnect offers advisory services for implementation, but the practical implementation (within your DNS systems) is external to their services.

Is DMARC compatible with all email servers?

Most modern email servers and email service providers are compatible with DMARC. However, implementation may vary, so it is important to consult with your email service provider or an IT security expert.

How is DMARC set up?

To set up DMARC, a DMARC record must be created in the domain's DNS. This record specifies the domain's DMARC policy and the email address to receive reports about messages that fail verification.

What is a DMARC record and how is it created?

A DMARC record is a type of DNS record that specifies a domain's email authentication policy and how to handle emails that do not pass DMARC verification. It is created by adding an entry to the domain's DNS with the desired DMARC policy and addresses for reports.

What is the difference between SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

SPF and DKIM are email authentication technologies. SPF validates the server sending the email, while DKIM validates the integrity of the message. DMARC uses both to provide an additional layer of security, specifying how messages that fail these validations should be handled.

How does DMARC affect legitimate emails?

When properly configured, DMARC should not negatively affect legitimate emails. In fact, it can improve the deliverability of these emails by demonstrating that they come from a legitimate source.

What happens if an email fails DMARC verification?

If an email does not pass DMARC verification, the action specified in the sender's domain DMARC record will be taken, which can be no action (p=none), quarantining the message (p=quarantine), or rejecting the message (p=reject).

Do you need to be a technology expert to implement DMARC?

While it is not strictly necessary to be an expert, implementing DMARC can be technical and may require basic knowledge of DNS and email policies. It is advisable to seek advice or assistance from an IT security expert.

A bit more technical:

What is an example of a DMARC record?

v=DMARC1; p=none;

This record would be placed in the DNS configuration of the domain. This is just an example, and the policies and email addresses should be chosen according to the specific needs and handling capabilities of your organization.

This example record is broken down as follows:

v=DMARC1: Version of the DMARC protocol. As of February 2024, there is no other version of DMARC than 1.
p=none: The DMARC policy applied to emails that fail the SPF and DKIM verifications. In this example, none indicates that no action is taken, but reports are collected and sent. Other options can be p=quarantine (quarantine) or p=reject (rejection). Email address where aggregation reports (periodic summaries of activity) will be sent. Here, they are sent to We recommend having a specific mailbox to receive these messages, as depending on the volume of messages your company sends, the reports can be extensive.

There are also other optional settings: Email address for forensic reports, which are detailed reports of individual failures.
fo=1: Options for generating forensic reports. 1 indicates that reports will be sent if either the SPF or DKIM checks fail. Other options may include 0 (only if both checks fail), d (only if DKIM fails), and s (only if SPF fails).

Updated on: 01/30/2024

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