Protecting Your Brand Online

Table of Contents

By Marty Barron

Protecting your brand online involves more than just securing your primary website. Vanity domains, (often variations or misspellings of your main domain) serve various purposes, including enhancing brand recognition and capturing traffic. However, they also pose risks, particularly in email security.

To safeguard your brand from malicious actors who might exploit vanity domains for harmful activities like phishing, robust DNS records are essential.


Sender Policy Framework (SPF) Record: Start by creating an SPF record in your DNS. This record specifies which servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. By setting the SPF record value to ‘v=spf1 -all,’ you enforce a strict policy to reject all unauthorized emails.

Validation and Verification: After creating the SPF record, validate its implementation using the command line tool ‘nslookup.’ Ensure that the SPF record is correctly configured for your domain and any subdomains.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) Record: Implement a DMARC record to specify how email servers should handle messages that fail authentication checks. The DMARC record instructs email servers to reject or quarantine suspicious emails and send aggregate reports for monitoring.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) Authentication: DKIM adds a digital signature to outgoing emails, verifying their authenticity and integrity. Generate cryptographic keys and configure DKIM records in your DNS settings to enhance email security and reputation.

Null MX Record: Consider creating a null MX record, which specifies that your domain does not handle email. While not all DNS providers support null MX records, they can bolster email server rejection of unauthorized emails.

Subdomain Protection: If your domain has subdomains that send emails, ensure they are protected with SPF and DMARC records. Use ‘sp=none’ in SPF records for subdomains to avoid rejecting legitimate emails.

By following these steps and best practices, you can strengthen the security and authenticity of your email communications, safeguarding your brand reputation and ensuring reliable email delivery. Remember to regularly review and adjust your DNS settings as needed to adapt to evolving threats and business needs.

NO LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS – All services and software licensing offered by Illum Advisors, are on a month-to-month basis and clients are billed for services consumed.

If you would benefit from support in safeguarding your brand, please schedule a few minutes with an iLLÜM Advisor –Schedule 20 Minutes

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