SPF Records

 

Overview

Since your new website resides, or will reside, on Campus Suite servers, it will need to send email on your behalf from time to time. For example, if a new user is added to the system, Campus Suite will send an email to the administrator on your team letting them know. There are various messages that Campus Suite will send out to users in your organization as necessaray. In this case, it needs to be recognized as an authorized sender.

The purpose of an SPF record is to prevent spammers from sending messages with forged 'From' addresses at your domain. Recipients can refer to the SPF record to determine whether a message purporting to be from your domain comes from an authorized mail server.

For example, suppose that your domain example.com uses Gmail. You create an SPF record that identifies the Google Apps mail servers as the authorized mail servers for your domain. When a recipient's mail server receives a message from [email protected], it can check the SPF record for example.com to determine whether it is a valid message. If the message comes from a server other than the Google Apps mail servers listed in the SPF record, the recipient's mail server can reject it as spam.

If your domain does not have an SPF record, some recipient domains may reject messages from your users because they cannot validate that the messages come from an authorized mail server. We have seen important messages sent from Campus Suite never be delivered because an SPF record does not exist. It's important to identify this early on so messages get delivered in a timely manner.

Very often, the IT person at your organization may not be familiar with SPF records, especially if someone else manages your DNS. Many schools use upstream providers to manage their DNS and this information should be provided to them... along with the IP address of the server your website is hosted on at Campus Suite. Just ask your Campus Suite representative to provide the IP address of the server so that you can provide it to your upstream provider.

Google Apps Customers

Find this beneficial information on understanding SPF records and adding them in your domain:

http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=33786&topic=2759192&ctx=topic

Creating SPF Records

Here's a link for Google Apps customers to create an SPF record in their DNS:

http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=178723&topic=2759192&ctx=topic

Here's another tool we have found very helpful for looking to see if you already have an SPF record in your DNS, and it can also assist you in creating one to add to the interface you use to manage your DNS.

http://mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx