How and Why a Secure Email Service Sets You Apart from Spammers

Autumn Tyr-Salvia
Apr. 27, 2015 by Autumn Tyr-Salvia

Cloud-Trust_shutterstock_131702831Successful email engagement is predicated on trust. Recipients need to trust that your emails are actually from you. That’s why SparkPost requires you undertake additional setup steps versus services that are less concerned with reputation.

A secure email service starts by preventing phishing—emails that fraudulently claim to be from someone else in an illicit attempt to gain benefit. It’s the email that claims to be from the reader’s bank, but downloads malware or steals a password when they follow the message links.

In order to reassure both human beings and protective computer systems that are looking for fraudulent email activity, SparkPost requires you to set up either SPF or DKIM at a minimum and potentially DMARC reporting as a means of reassuring these recipients and systems that messages are truly from you. SPF is like a guest list at a party—a list of servers that are authorized to send for your domain. DKIM uses encryption in the email headers that refers to the sender’s domain to legitimize the message for the recipient. It assures your recipients that even though your emails are coming via SparkPost, people and systems can really trust that your messages are from you. In part, DMARC is a reporting mechanism for DKIM failures, alerting domain owners when others try to use their domain without authorization.

Email security is also about protecting your recipients. Attackers are getting more sophisticated and they know that there are often ways to get information from people. They’ll leverage email to get bits of information that a person might not think are important, but in fact are stepping stones to getting more valuable information. That well-known data breach at Target started when someone found a bit of information in a company that did air conditioning services for stores; the attackers leveraged that third party’s access to hack into additional systems inside Target.

SparkPost requires you to use DKIM and SPF because they are proven best practices. When you’re sending just a few emails, things could go wrong, but the small quantity means it only qualifies as a hassle. When you’re sending email in very high volumes, there’s a lot of potential for damage. On the flipside, email security increases engagement and deliverability: messages set up with authentication allow recipients to trust that the links they click will not be fraudulent or malicious. That increases clicks (a measure of engagement), which in turn increases deliverability.

That’s why it’s important to secure your email, because any little piece of the puzzle can be a gateway to significant problems for you and your recipients. Our goal is to make you successful with email, and protecting your email is essential to securing your reputation as a sender.

Related Content

3 Mandatory Email Security Best Practices for the Financial Services Industry

Learn about email security best practices that are absolutely vital to protecting the credibility of financial services businesses.

read more

Trick-or-Treat: 3 Ways to Tell You’re Being Phished via Email

When it comes to email there is nothing spookier than being phished. Learn about 3 clues that can help you identify a phishing attack.

read more

Preventing an Email Security Breach: The 3-Pronged Defense

Securing email against determined attackers takes strategic defense. Our multi-pronged security method will help you prevent an email security breach.

read more

Get started and start sending

Try SparkPost and see how easy it is to deliver your app’s email on time and to the inbox.

Try Free

Send this to a friend