What is Google workspace SPF, and How Does it Help?

Google workspace SPF

Malicious or fake emails are key cybersecurity threats that often fly under the radar of cyber protection tools and software. To mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks through emails, you can set up a Google SPF record for your Google Workspace. Here is a simple Google workspace SPF guide to help you protect against cyberattack phishing and prevent email messages from being labeled as spam.

What Is Google Workspace SPF ?

Google workspace SPF

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an email authentication mechanism that verifies that an email is sent only from authorized servers and not marked as spam by the receiver.

SPF protects domains against spoofing and prevents outgoing messages from ending up in the recipient’s spam folder. Typically, SPF specifies which mail servers can send an email on behalf of your domain. On the other hand, SPF helps the receiving mail servers to verify the origin of  incoming messages, and confirm that they aren’t coming from unauthorized servers.

How Does Google Workspace SPF Work?

Generally, emails come in with a “from” address indicating the sender or where it is from. Spammers can often forge these “from” addresses to send fake messages using your legitimate domain name.

Receiving servers with SPF can perform an SPF check to detect these fake or malicious emails and ensure that the messages come in from email servers authorized to send emails from your domain. On the other side, the receiving server also performs a domain name DNS lookup to check the SPF record and authenticate the email. It does this by checking and ensuring that the server is listed and authorized to send the email.

If the sending server (or IP address) is listed, the address is authorized to send messages from the sender’s domain. After passing the SPF check, the email can be routed to someone’s inbox. However, if the server or IP address isn’t listed on the sender’s DNS records, then the receiving server can outrightly reject the email or flag it as spam email.

How Does SPF Help?

SPF helps protect against email spoofing (or phishing attacks) and spam.

How SPF Prevents Spoofing

How SPF Prevents Spoofing

Spoofing is where scammers forge your domain to send fake messages that appear to originate from your organization. Scammers use spoofed messages for malicious purposes, such as to spread false information or trick individuals into revealing their sensitive information or data. SPF helps receiving servers verify and authenticate incoming emails as originating from authentic or listed servers. Google recommends using DKIM and DMARC to further protect against spoofing and other malicious email activity.

SPF Helps Deliver Messages Safely

Apart from detecting malicious emails, SPF helps to  make sure your sent messages are not marked as spam, and keeps them out of your recipients’ junk folder. If you don’t use SPF on your domain, receiving servers can’t verify whether or not the messages that seem to come from you really come from you. This can cause the receiving server to reject or spam valid messages.

Final Word

Adding an SPF record to your domain can help prevent email scamming, phishing, and other malicious email activities. You need email security and authentication to protect your organization, employees, and customers’ data. Due to its vulnerabilities, you should use SPF together with DKIM and DMARC email protocols.

Read Also:  List of Free Antivirus Software for Mac 

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