SPF and Email to Fax. Why SPF is required.

Setting up SPF is fairly quick and easy in most cases. If you have a more complex setup. Read on and we'll provide some resources with more information.

How to become a HIPAA Compliant OfficeIf you use Email to Fax you may have received an Email failed SPF validation message. You may be scratching your head wondering what this is about. Not to worry! The issue is quickly solvable and a good idea to boot. First, we will explain what SPF is and why it is important you have it set up, and we will also offer some technical information that will help your IT staff get it done quickly and easily.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication protocol that helps protect against email spoofing and unauthorized use of a domain's identity. It works by allowing domain owners to publish a list of authorized mail servers that are permitted to send emails on behalf of their domain. When an email is received, the recipient's email server checks the SPF record of the sender's domain to verify if the originating server is authorized to send emails to that domain. If the check fails, the email may be flagged as potentially fraudulent or marked as spam. SPF helps ensure that emails are sent from legitimate sources, reducing the risk of phishing and spoofing attempts, and enhancing the overall security and trustworthiness of email communications.

Why is this important and why are we enforcing it?

If someone were to compromise your systems and gain an understanding of your configuration they could forge emails from your domain to anyone else utilizing our Email to Fax Service. A scammer could send fake invoices to your customers, outside of Email to Fax they could send viruses and ransomware to your customers or anyone else and it would appear to come from your domain and email account. When your SPF is properly set up scammers can still try to do this but the receiving email servers would spot the fake quickly and remove it. We have already restricted emails from senders that do not support SPF to prevent the aforementioned situation from occurring. It may be temporarily inconvenient if your domain does not have SPF, but we put security first at WestFax and we can help you figure this out.

How do you set up SPF?

We always say that you should consult your IT staff to handle it but if you are the “IT Staff” you may have to rely on Google for some of this, but we'll include some guides below. Based on who you use as an email provider you can use the following guides to set up SPF.

Here are some of the main email providers:

Want to roll out your own SPF record? Use this tool to generate your SPF and follow this guide on setting it up.

Once you are done with this it may take 15-30 minutes for the changes to take effect. Adding an SPF record is a simple process that pays huge dividends. Your emails are more trusted, fewer emails end up in spam and your customers will not be duped by scammers. While you are at it you should set up DKIM/DMARC too. Reach out to us today at 800-473-6208 or sales@westfax.com to learn more.

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