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Implementing DMARC Records: A Developer's Guide

Danny de Groot
I am

Danny de Groot

Freelance Web Developer and Entrepreneur

By Danny de Groot2024-02-18

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is an email validation system designed to protect your domain from unauthorized use, such as email spoofing, phishing attacks, and other cyber threats. A DMARC record strengthens your email security posture by leveraging SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) protocols. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of DMARC records, detailing each parameter and offering best practices for implementation.


To implement DMARC for your domain, navigate to your DNS settings and add the following TXT record under the _dmarc host name / subdomain:

v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; fo=1;

After adding the record, allow some time for DNS propagation. You can then verify the implementation of your DMARC record by using: DMARC Inspector

Understanding DMARC Records

DMARC records are published in your DNS as TXT records under the _dmarc.yourdomain.com subdomain. They signal to receiving mail servers your preferences for email authentication and specify how unauthenticated emails should be treated. Below is an explanation of the standard parameters within a DMARC record:


  • Purpose: Declares the DMARC version being used. DMARC1 is currently the only version available.
  • Options: DMARC1 is mandatory.


  • Purpose: Outlines the domain's policy for handling emails that fail DMARC authentication.
  • Options:
    • none: Monitoring mode only, no action taken on failed emails.
    • quarantine: Emails that fail authentication may be placed in the spam/junk folder.
    • reject: Instructs receiving servers to reject failed emails outright.


  • Purpose: Designates an email address for receiving aggregate DMARC reports, which provide summaries of authentication successes and failures.
  • Options: Should be preceded by mailto:, e.g., mailto:[email protected].


  • Purpose: Specifies an email address for receiving forensic DMARC reports, which offer detailed information on individual authentication failures.
  • Options: Must start with mailto:, e.g., mailto:[email protected].
  • Note: The practical availability and detail level of forensic reports can vary by email provider due to privacy concerns, and some providers may not offer them.


  • Purpose: Determines the conditions under which forensic reports are generated.
  • Options:
    • 0: Reports are generated if both SPF and DKIM checks fail.
    • 1: Reports are generated if either SPF or DKIM checks fail.
    • d: Reports are generated for DKIM failures only.
    • s: Reports are generated for SPF failures only.

Additional Parameters

  • sp=: Specifies the DMARC policy for subdomains, with options mirroring the p= parameter.
  • adkim=: Sets the DKIM alignment mode, with r for relaxed and s for strict.
  • aspf=: Sets the SPF alignment mode, also with r for relaxed and s for strict.

Implementing Your DMARC Record

  1. Audit Email Sources: Identify all systems sending emails on behalf of your domain.
  2. Ensure SPF and DKIM are in Place: DMARC relies on these protocols, so ensure they're correctly set up before configuring DMARC.
  3. Craft Your DMARC Record: Begin with a p=none policy for initial monitoring. Example record:

     v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:[email protected]; ruf=mailto:[email protected]; fo=1;
  4. Publish Your DMARC Record: Add your DMARC record as a TXT record in your DNS under _dmarc.yourdomain.com.
  5. Review and Adjust: Analyze the reports sent to your rua and ruf addresses to monitor email flows and adjust your DMARC policy as needed.

You can use this online tool to check and validate your DMARC implementation: DMARC Inspector

Best Practices for DMARC Implementation

  • Gradual Enforcement: Start with p=none to avoid immediate disruption. Gradually shift to quarantine and then reject as you refine your email authentication processes based on report analysis.
  • Dedicated Email Addresses for Reports: Utilize separate email addresses for rua (aggregate reports) and ruf (forensic reports) to streamline report management.
  • Understand Email Flows: Consider how DMARC affects forwarded emails and mailing lists, as these can sometimes cause legitimate emails to fail DMARC checks due to header modifications.

DMARC is a critical component of a robust email security framework. By methodically implementing and managing DMARC records, developers can significantly reduce the risk of email-based threats and enhance the integrity of their domain's email ecosystem.


Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.
Free no-obligation quotes are available on request.

Danny de Groot
I am

Danny de Groot

Freelance Web Developer and Entrepreneur

  • Age37
  • Email
  • Skypedannydg1985
  • CountryThe NetherlandsNL
  • FreelanceSince March 2017

My name is Danny de Groot, I am a Freelance Web Developer from the Netherlands operating globally. As a full-stack web developer specialising in .NET and JavaScript I have been involved with the technical, functional, graphical and business-related aspects of building web applications. My twenty years of experience in these areas allow me to provide the technical support to turn your ideas into reality. Employing my organisational skills and a keen eye for detail, we can develop a unique tailor-made project that fits your needs and works for you.