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SPF Explained

What is an SPF record?

A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record is a type of DNS record that can help to prevent email address spoofing.

Spammers can falsify email headers so it looks like they’re sending from an email address at your domain. They can pretend to be you, allowing them to phish your users for private account information, or otherwise abuse your reputation. When they hijack an email account, they alter the email header details to show the messages they’re sending are coming from the true owner of the account. This can result in the account owner receiving replies and bouncebacks for mail they never sent.

Adding an SPF record can help prevent others from spoofing your domain. You can specify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of your domain. Then, when incoming mail servers receive email messages from your domain name, they compare the SPF record to the outgoing mail server information. If the information doesn’t match, they identify the email message as unauthorized, and will generally filter it as spam or reject it.

Adding an SPF record to your domain can decrease spoofing attempts, however, they are not a full-proof guarantee against all spam as not all mail servers check for them.

SPF record

Record Example v=spf1 Ip4: ~all

Parameter Description
+ Pass
- Hard Fail
~ Soft Fail
? Neutral

All SPF records can be configured to include IP or hostnames, if you are using any services which are used for sending for example contact form on a website you will need to included the IP or hostname in the SPF record otherwise will either fail or be rejected contact our support team if you need help with this

What SMS do with SPF?

Hard Fail If an email is received in which the server ip or hostname isn’t included in the spf record hard fail we will drop mail all these emails

Soft Fail Emails which come from an unapproved sender with soft and we will add the x header of X-SMS-SPF-Softfail - if you wish to delete these types of emails as you believe them to be spam or spoofed emails, you can create an rule in outlook to delete or moves to junk - Please email our support team if you need help setting up this type of rule

Hosted Exchange

For all our hosted exchange customers the SPF record you need to use is v=spf1 Ip4: ~all

Office 365

For all our office 365 customers the SPF record you need to use is v=spf1 -all

If you are using any services which require an spf record you will need to include their IP or Hostname in your sp record, please contact our support team if you require help with this

Last Updated: 13 September, 2018