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IT Granules - SPF Record Checker

What is SPF (Sender Policy Framerwork)?

The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication protocol that helps prevent email spoofing and phishing by allowing domain owners to specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of their domain.

How SPF Works

SPF works by adding a DNS (Domain Name System) record to a domain. This record contains information about the authorized mail servers that are allowed to send emails using the domain name.

SPF Record Example:

example.com. IN TXT "v=spf1 ip4:192.168.1.1 include:_spf.example.net -all"

In this example, the SPF record for "example.com" specifies that the mail server with the IP address 192.168.1.1 and the servers listed in the "_spf.example.net" include mechanism are authorized to send emails on behalf of "example.com."

SPF Authentication Process

When an email is received, the recipient's mail server can perform SPF authentication to verify if the sending server is authorized. The SPF authentication process involves checking the sending server's IP address against the list of authorized servers in the SPF record.

SPF Check Result:

The result of the SPF check can be one of the following:

  • Pass: The sending server is authorized.
  • Fail: The sending server is not authorized, and the email may be treated as suspicious.
  • SoftFail: The sending server is not authorized, but the email is still accepted (often used for monitoring purposes).
  • Neutral: SPF check result is inconclusive.

Why SPF is Important

SPF helps protect against domain spoofing, where malicious actors send emails that appear to come from a legitimate domain. It is an essential tool for email authentication and plays a key role in maintaining email security.

In addition to SPF, other email authentication mechanisms like DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) can be used for a comprehensive email security strategy.