DKIM Configuration

DKIM - DomainKeys Identified Mail

DKIM is an authentication method, which uses encryption with public/ private keys, to validate whether the emails are generated from the authorised servers, recognized and configured by the administrators of the sending domains.

How DKIM Works

In DKIM process, a public key is published as a TXT record for the domain's DNS Manager(registrar of the domain or DNS Provider). Every outgoing email includes a unique signature generated using the private key for the particular domain. The receiving email server uses this private-public key combination to validate the email source. If there is a validation failure, the recipient server may reject the email or classify it as Spam/ Forged email, based on the server behaviour.

Enabling and using DKIM for your domain, ensures that valid emails sent using Zoho, are not classified as Spam at the recipient end.

DKIM Selector

The selector is used to identify the public DKIM Key details of the Domain. It is an attribute for the DKIM Signature and is included in the DKIM header of the email. You can use multiple selectors for a single domain in cases where you need to provide Special Signatory Controls for different sets of users.

Once you have added a selector and verified the selector, you need to make it as default and enable it for the domain. Once enabled, all the outgoing emails based on the domain will be signed by the default selector, unless the users have been associated with a different selector in the Users section.

Steps to add DKIM Signature for your Domain:

You can enable DKIM for your domain from Zoho Mail's control panel, after creating the required text record in your domain's DNS manager. The DKIM configuration has three major steps:

  1. Generate unique public DKIM Key value using a default selector in Zoho Mail.
  2. Create TXT record in your Domain's DNS Manager (Domain registrar/ DNS Provider).
  3. Validate the selector and Enable DKIM in Zoho Mail.

I.Generate Unique Domain Key in Zoho Mail:

  1. Log in to the Control Panel from https://www.zoho.com/mail/cpanel-login.html using the Administrator credentials.
  2. Select Email Authentication, and choose DKIM to navigate to the DKIM configuration page. 
  3. Click the Edit icon across the domain for which you want to configure DKIM.
     
  4. Click Add Selector to add a new selector for the domain. 
  5. Provide the selector name, for the domain to be used with Zoho Mail. Ex: zoho
  6. Click Save. A text box TXT record Value is displayed with the Public DKIM key value.
  7. You can copy (Right click >> Copy) the entire text in the TXT record value field.
     
  8. You need to create a TXT record with this value in the DNS Manager before you click Verify.

II. Creating TXT Record in DNS Manager.

  1. Login to your domain's DNS Manager.
  2. Create a TXT record in your DNS with the title as <selector>._domainkey.<yourdomainname.com>
    Ex: zoho._domainkey.zylker.org should be the name of the TXT record if the selector you choose is zoho and the domain name is zylker.org. Replace the text with your custom values without the brackets. 
    If your DNS is hosted with WIX/ Squarespace/ Namecheap etc, provide the TXT record name as zoho._domainkey (These providers append the domain name automatically)
  3. In the TXT record value, paste the entire content you copied from the text field TXT Record Value in Zoho.
  4. Save the TXT record in the DNS Manager.
  5. You can check the validity of the DKIM using this third party link.

Note:

The process to create TXT record varies based on the DNS Provider/ Manager you use.

Some DNS providers (like WIX, Squarespace, Namecheap, etc) append the domain name automatically. In such cases, you can just provide <selector>._domainkey as the TXT record name. 

Certain DNS providers expect the subdomain to be created instead of a TXT record. 

Steps to add TXT record in GoDaddy domain manager:

  1. Login to your GoDaddy DNS Manager. Select the My Account menu and choose Domains.
  2. Expand Domains and click the Manage DNS button for the domain you want to verify.
  3. The DNS Manager page will open with information about existing DNS records. 
  4. Scroll down to the Records section and click the Add button to add a DNS record.
  5. Select TXT from the Record Type drop-down menu.
  6. In the Host field, enter <selector>._domainkey.<yourdomainname>.com.
  7. In the TXT Value field, enter the TXT Record value generated in your Zoho Mail control panel.
  8. Click Finish.

III. Enabling DKIM for the domain

  1. If the Validation of the DKIM is successful on the third party site, login to Zoho Mail Control Panel.
  2. Click Verify for the particular selector. The text record will be modified to verified state.
  3. Once verified, you will see a prompt to Enable DKIM immediately or later. You can enable DKIM immediately to start signing DKIM signatures for the emails from your domain. 
     
  4. Once you enable, the DKIM signatures will be added to all the emails generated from the domain. 

Multiple DKIM Selectors:

You can use multiple selectors for a single domain to provide separate DKIM signatures for multiple offices in different locations or provide separate DKIM signatures for a set of accounts. 

Example:

  • ukoffice._domainkey.zylker.com
  • usoffice._domainkey.zylker.com
  • hrteam._domainkey.zylker.com
  • marketing._domainkey.zylker.com

You can add more selectors for specific DKIM keys for different sets of users or for different locations of offices.

User based Domain Selectors:

When you have multiple selectors, you can associate the different sets of users with the selectors based on your requirement. The default selector is automatically applied for all users and hence it will not be listed in the drop down.

Once you add an additional selector, you can associate for a specific set of users from the User List section. 

 

Troubleshoot SPF/ DKIM Problems

Longer TTL

TTL (Time To Live) is the time specified in your DNS for each change in your DNS to be effective. If you have a huge TTL value (24 hrs/ 48 hrs), then the TXT/ SPF Records might take a while to get propagated. It might take up to 12 - 24 hours for DNS changes to take effect, based on the TTL set.

Incorrect Values

The way the SPF records needs to be added often varies with different DNS Providers.  Hence it is recommended to check the help pages or instruction manuals of your registrar or reach out to the support team of your DNS provider, to add the respective SPF/ DKIM records.

Typos/ Spelling Mistakes

Check if you have copy pasted the correct information from Zoho Setup pages. In case of DKIM, you need to copy the entire key displayed and provide it as a value of the TXT Record. The TXT Record name should follow the suggested naming conventions

 

Note:

Any alterations to the email content by the email servers which transit the emails in-between, might alter the signature and make the DKIM as invalid during verification at the recipient end.
Currently, the DKIM is supported only for emails generated in Zoho and directly delivered to external servers. For domains configured with Email Routing and Outbound Gateways, where the emails are not directly delivered or emails generated from other servers, DKIM is not supported.

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