What is an SPF Record (Sender Policy Framework) in Email?

What is an SPF Record

An SPF Record, or Sender Policy Framework, is an email authentication protocol that enables the administrators of a domain to specify which hosts are allowed to send email from that domain.

SPF helps protect your email from phishing or spoofing (pretending to send from) attempts or basically it ensures that an unauthorized user does not gain access to your domain and send an email under your identity which could result in negative damage to your business and reputation.

SPF is normally used in conjunction with DKIM and DMARC. SPF records add an extra layer of security to your sending domain by authenticating the IP addresses associated with it.

How SPF Records Work

When a message is sent, the sending mail server makes a connection with the receiving mail server and the two servers exchange relevant information before your server sends your SMTP mail.

Because the recipient’s email server can see the sender’s IP address, it can then use an SPF record for your message’s sending domain or hostname to confirm that the IP address it viewed previously is authorized to send mail for a said domain before accepting the email.

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How is an SPF Record Created

An SPF record is set up as a DNS TXT record at your respective DNS provider’s dashboard.

Ready to create your SPF record? Find out how to do it here.

Once you’ve added the SPF records and they’ve propagated, your domain will be verified. Note: it can take 24-48 hours for DNS changes to be verified.

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