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Email Safety: DMARC Enforcement for Gmail and Yahoo!

Executive Summary

In an effort to enhance email security, Google and Yahoo! are implementing DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) protocols. Starting in February 2024, senders of bulk emails must comply with DMARC requirements to maintain communication with Gmail and Yahoo! users.

This initiative aims to reduce phishing, spam, and other malicious activities that compromise the integrity of email as a communication medium. For businesses, compliance with these requirements is not just about avoiding penalties; it also presents an opportunity to improve email deliverability, enhance engagement rates, and protect their brand reputation.

This decision highlights the significance of cybersecurity in today’s digital landscape, where trust and reliability are crucial for business success. It is part of a broader industry move towards more secure email communication. Companies like Apple are also emphasizing similar authentication measures for iCloud mail senders.

What Is DMARC?

DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. It is a protocol that builds on SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) to authenticate email senders and ensure the integrity of email messages.

DMARC helps to prevent email spoofing by verifying that the sender is authorized by the domain owner. It allows domain owners to set policies on how receiving email servers should handle emails that fail authentication checks.

Additionally, DMARC provides reporting features, giving domain owners insight into how their emails are processed and helping them identify potential security issues.

Requirements for Bulk Email Senders

For bulk senders who send more than 5,000 emails per day to Gmail or Yahoo! accounts, the following DMARC requirements are crucial:

  1. Implement a DMARC Policy: Senders must set up a DMARC policy in their DNS.
  2. Ensure Emails Pass DMARC: Emails must align with either DKIM or SPF policies, using the same domain as the message’s From header.
  3. Maintain a PTR Record: This is crucial for mail servers to validate the sender’s domain.
  4. Keep Spam Rates Low: For instance, Gmail requires a Spam Complaint Rate below 0.3%.
  5. Implement One-Click Unsubscribe: By June 2024, senders must offer an easy unsubscribe option to meet Yahoo! and Gmail’s standards.

Google and Yahoo! will begin enforcing these requirements by initially responding with temporary errors for non-compliant emails. Eventually, they will completely reject such emails. This gradual approach allows senders plenty of time to adapt and meet the new standards.

For users of Gmail and Yahoo!, this DMARC shift promises a safer email experience with fewer spam and phishing attempts. While the primary responsibility lies with email senders, users can contribute by remaining vigilant and reporting suspicious emails.



Cubic Lighthouse is a cybersecurity publication dedicated to demystifying security, making news actionable, providing deeper thinking about the fundamentals of security, and providing decision-makers and the community at large with the right information to make the right decisions. We will also feature more technical articles and provide personal/family security advice.

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