SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework, and is a method designed to protect valid email communication. It provides a mechanism that helps identify valid email sources, thereby making communication such as SPAM, spoofing and phishing, much more detectable.
An SPF record sits against your domain settings on the DNS (domain name server) and allows the Domain name owner to specify which computers are authorised to send mail using the domain name in the from address. By nature this information is publicly available, and through good design the content of this record will align with the mail servers that an organisation uses for sending outbound emails.
e.g. If your Domain name is widget.com then your email addresses will be something like firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com By using the SPF record you can make it known that only server 'x' may send emails ending with @widget.com
The receiving email server can then refer to that publicly available DNS information and use it to assess whether the inbound email has come from a valid source. Administrators of the receiving mail server will configure how emails that fail this test are handled, ranging from fully blocking them to dumping them into a SPAM directory.
The SPF tool set has existed for many years, but it is only in recent times that the world has mass adopted use of it. In doing so this space has suddenly moved from a 'nice to have' to effectively becoming a requirement. In plain language this means that if you don't have an SPF record set up, you need to get one set up now.
If you know how to access your DNS records via your domain name provider then in theory you can update these records yourself. However without full technical understanding this is dangerous space as wrongly set records can cause all your email communication to fail and/or have highly unexpected outcomes.
If your emails are not reaching their intended destination or you're concerned about SPF records talk to your domain name manager, or if Stream manage your domain name we are happy to help. Get in touch with us.
We will be contacting all of our existing clients to make recommendations about SPF settings, inclusive of a review of emails that are sent via the streamSWEET platform.