Media & Entertainment
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) plays a crucial role in email authentication, combating email spoofing effectively. This fraudulent act, common in phishing and spamming activities, involves forging the sender’s address to appear as if it’s from someone else. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the key aspect of DKIM—a DKIM record, exploring its function and significance.
A DKIM record is a specific type of TXT record integrated into your domain’s DNS settings. Embedded with a public cryptographic key, this digital fingerprint assists receiving email servers in decoding the DKIM signature of an incoming email. The email’s DKIM signature, initially encrypted with the sender’s private key, verifies the email’s authenticity and ensures it has remained unchanged during transmission, once successfully decoded.
A DKIM record consists of various pieces of information encapsulated in special tags (letters preceding the “=” characters). The specific details of the DKIM record, including the public key and selector, depend on your unique mail server and configuration. A sample DKIM record may look like this:
v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQCqGKukO1De7zhZj6+H0qtjTkVxwTCpvKe4eCZ0FPqri0cb2JZfXJ/DgYSF6vUpwmZ5Ch+0+ZKKJaAu1tPjq4wFtEn6JViEHtneZgCYzFIPzG6VqzRb+oUV9mH5aW7Y9JUyziShypsjG9cBZx94e2/e7xak2HcXwsg5Kj+eu9ZxJ4IQIDAQAB; t=s; n=core; s=email;
The name of this DKIM TXT record in DNS will be something like email._domainkey.yourdomain.com, where email._domainkey is the name you choose (selector) and yourdomain.com is your domain.
The specific details for your DKIM record, such as the public key and selector, will depend on your specific mail server and configuration.
Setting up DKIM involves generating a public-private key pair and adding the DKIM record to your DNS. The specifics can vary somewhat depending on your domain registrar and email service, but the general steps are as follows:
1. Generate a DKIM Key. This process will generate a pair of keys: a private key, which stays on your mail server, and a public key, which will be published in your DNS records. Several online tools can help you generate a DKIM key pair, or your email service provider might provide a tool or instructions to do this.
2. Create a Selector. A selector is a simple string used to help identify the DKIM public key in your DNS records. For example, if you choose “mailer” as your selector, you might name your DKIM record something like “mailer._domainkey”.
3. Add the DKIM Record to Your DNS. Once you have your public key and selector, you will create a new TXT record in your DNS settings. The exact process can vary depending on your DNS provider, but you will generally need to input your selector (e.g., mailer._domainkey) as the Host, and a value that includes your public key and some other DKIM settings. The value might look something like this:
v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY
Replace YOUR_PUBLIC_KEY with the public key that was generated in step #1.
4. Configure Your Email Server. You will need to configure your email server to sign outgoing messages using the private key that corresponds with the public key in your DNS records. This process can vary widely depending on your specific mail server software.
5. Test Your Setup. Finally, you will want to send test emails to verify that everything is working as expected. There are various online DKIM check tools that can help with this. These tools will tell you whether your emails include a valid DKIM signature.
Note: Any changes to your DNS records can take some time (sometimes up to 48 hours) to propagate throughout the internet. So, don’t worry if your new setup doesn’t work immediately.
If you are looking for a DNS provider that can help secure your mail and manage your DNS records conveniently, consider Gcore DNS Hosting.