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DomainKeys Identified Mail

DomainKeys Identified Mail

(also DKIM)

DomainKeys Identified Mail definition

DomainKeys Identified Mail, commonly known as DKIM, is an email authentication method to detect email spoofing. It allows the receiver to check whether an email claiming to have come from a specific domain was indeed authorized by the owner of that domain. This is done by attaching to each outgoing email message a digital signature linked to a domain name. The recipient system can verify this signature to check whether the email is authentic and has not been modified during transit.

See also: transport layer, internet protocol address, secure connection

DomainKeys Identified Mail examples

  • Email service providers (ESPs): ESPs like Gmail and Yahoo use DKIM as a way to verify that the emails sent from their servers are authentic and have not been tampered with during transit.
  • Businesses: Businesses use DKIM to protect their reputation and ensure that their emails reach the customers, not the spam folder.

Pros and cons of DomainKeys Identified Mail


  • Email authentication: DKIM provides a way for recipients to check if an email is genuinely from the domain it claims to be from.
  • Spam and phishing protection: By verifying the email sender, DKIM helps protect users from spam and phishing attacks.


  • Complex setup: Setting up DKIM authentication can be complex and requires technical knowledge.
  • Doesn’t encrypt: While DKIM verifies the sender, it doesn’t encrypt the email content.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security