Authentication
August 20, 2018
An Email Marketing Glossary Entry

What is email authentication?

Email authentication is the data that conveys where the message came from and which servers relayed it. This authentication data is used by the client or receiving server to decide if and where the email message should end up.

From Wikipedia:

[...] The purpose of email authentication is to validate the identities of the ADMDs or MTAs who participated in transferring and possibly modifying a message. The results of such validation can then be used in email filtering, and can assist recipients when selecting an appropriate action or reply to an incoming message.

What is authentication used for?

Authentication is part of the message itself. It is data that gets modified as the message travels the path from its origin to its destination. The authentication data is read by the recipient's server, which then decides whether the message should be rejected, filtered, or relayed to the intended recipient as legit or spam.

What are the authentication methods?

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
  • Author Domain Signing Practices (ADSP)
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARK)
  • Vouch by Reference (VBR)
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