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Using DKIM and SPF with cPanel

Posted by Jamison on 08 10 2015.

The “Email Authentication” feature of cPanel is designed to give you information about your outgoing messages, or those that you send using the email address registered in your cPanel account. This is a very useful feature as it helps the recipient’s server that the message being sent is from a trusted, valid sender.

 

Your cPanel’s Email Authentication service is comprised of two components: DKIM and SPF.

 

DKIM

 

DKIM is the component of the Email Authentication feature responsible for verifying the sender, as well as the integrity of the email message’s content. It enables an email system to determine that incoming messages have not been altered by spammers during the sending process. In other words, it ensures that the messages have not been forged.

 

Enabling and Disabling DKIM

 

To enable or disable DKIM, just navigate to Email Authentication. From there, you have the option to enable it. When you need to disable this component, just go…

The “Email Authentication” feature of cPanel is designed to give you information about your outgoing messages, or those that you send using the email address registered in your cPanel account. This is a very useful feature as it helps the recipient’s server that the message being sent is from a trusted, valid sender.

 

Your cPanel’s Email Authentication service is comprised of two components: DKIM and SPF.

 

DKIM

 

DKIM is the component of the Email Authentication feature responsible for verifying the sender, as well as the integrity of the email message’s content. It enables an email system to determine that incoming messages have not been altered by spammers during the sending process. In other words, it ensures that the messages have not been forged.

 

Enabling and Disabling DKIM

 

To enable or disable DKIM, just navigate to Email Authentication. From there, you have the option to enable it. When you need to disable this component, just go back to the Email Authentication area and then click on “Disable.”

 

Error Message when Enabling DKIM

 

After you enable DKIM, you may encounter an error message saying that the system is unable to verify the authority of the server for the domain name. In the event that this happens, you can just ignore the message, if:

 

  1. You have already designated the server as your domain name’s authoritative DNS server, however; the change has not propagated yet.

 

  1. The server itself does not recognize that it is the authoritative DNS server, however; outside servers already see it as the authoritative DNS server.

 

SPF

 

The second component of the Email Authentication service in cPanel is SPF. Basically, it is responsible for denying spammers the opportunity to spoof or forge your domain name as the sender of the emails they send. It functions as an authenticator, wherein IP addresses are added to a list specifying computers that can send email messages with your domain name. Messages sent from your domain are verified by this authentication function, which is very useful in minimizing backscatter.

 

Enabling and Disabling DKIM

 

To enable or disable SPF, just do the same thing as enabling or disabling DKIM: navigate to Email Authentication. Here, you are going to find an “Enable” button, so just click on that. If you want to disable it, just hit the “Disable” option.

 

Error Message when Enabling SPF

 

Just like the possibility of encountering an error message after enabling DKIM, the same thing may happen once you turn on the SPF service. The same error, saying that the system cannot verify the authority of the server for your domain name, can be ignored if any of the above-mentioned situations are true in your case.

 

Adding an SPF Record via a Script

 

The “spf_installer script” can be used to add SPF records to all of your domain’s zone files. Use the exact code to do this:

 

“/bin/spf_install”

 

Advanced SPF Settings

 

When you want to configure the cPanel SPF authentication a bit more, you can head to the “Advanced Settings” section. Here, you can add domains by hitting on the “Add” option. If you want to delete domains from the list, just click on the “Remove” button.