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DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

Definition - What does DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) mean?

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a system for authenticating email that works with modern Message Transfer Agent (MTA) systems. This resource was created to help fight spam, and uses a digital signature to help email recipients determine whether an email is legitimate.

Techopedia explains DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

The digital signature used in DKIM provides an additional way to tell whether an email is forged. Spammers often forge headers or other aspects of an email to make the message look like it comes from a legitimate source. DKIM uses domain information to authenticate the email's origin.

Experts point out that DKIM will not necessarily eliminate spam, but it will help to ensure that a legitimate source stands behind a message and is responsible for it. It’s important to note that a message can be validated at various points in its trajectory, and that the specifics of this authentication method may vary according to service providers.

The first DKIM resource was called DomainKeys, and was created by Yahoo! staff. The DKIM that's currently used is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an international community of developers.

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