List of DNS records to improve your Email security

These DNS records are going to help you set the grounds for extremely secure and safe email communication. So, let’s start with our short list.

A record

One of the most popular DNS records is the A record, also known as an Address record. It points a domain name to its corresponding IP address (IPv4 address). Its purpose is fundamental. In addition, it shows that the particular domain name is associated with that IP address. However, it does not direct the mail servers, and they wouldn’t know where they should send email messages.

MX record

MX record, or Mail exchanger record, is one of the most popular DNS records. Its main purpose is to show which is the mail server responsible for receiving email messages for the particular domain name. It is important to note that, in case there is a mistake in the configuration of your MX record, or it does not exist at all for your domain name, you won’t be capable of receiving email messages. Therefore, if you desire to have proper receiving mail service, you should definitely set an MX record and be really careful.

PTR record

The Pointer record, or simply for short PTR record, is another essential type of DNS record for your email and email security. Its purpose is to link an IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) to its corresponding domain name. Its goal is absolutely the opposite compared to the A record. It is used to provide trust and confirmation that the particular domain name (hostname) is actually related to the specific IP address. Therefore, it is considered an essential part when you want to establish properly working outgoing mail servers. In case you do not have such a DNS record or you have made a mistake in the configuration of it, the emails you send are going to be marked as spam messages and rejected right away. That is something nobody wants. Therefore you should be aware and set everything correctly.

SPF record

The SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record is a simple TXT record that provides information with a list of all the IP addresses that are allowed to send an email message on behalf of your domain name. Thanks to it, the recipient’s mail server is able to check and verify that the email is actually coming from your domain. It helps prevent DNS spoofing and phishing attacks.

DKIM record

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) record is another TXT record that serves for email authentication. It allows the recipient’s server to check if the sender is actually the one that is claiming to be and prevent receiving a message from a forged sender. It is really valuable for detecting and stopping email spam and phishing.

Thanks to the provided encryption key and digital signature, it is able to verify that the message was not falsified or modified. Additionally, it improves the security of your email deliverability.

DMARC record

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) record is also a TXT Record published for a domain name. It regulates what happens if an email fails the authentication. Together with the SPF record and DKIM record, it sets strong email security.

List of DNS terms that every administrator should know

Here’s a quick rundown of the most useful DNS terms. Learning the complex structure of the Domain Name System as a beginner can be extremely frustrating. But, if we start explaining, everything will become much more straightforward and make more sense.

Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System, or DNS, is a critical component of the Internet. It’s a global naming database that converts internet domain names to IP addresses (Internet Protocol). DNS is a multi-level hierarchical system that is decentralized. Humans no longer need to remember long and complicated numbers (for example, 213.45.178.32) in order to access and explore every website thanks to this technology. Instead, visitors can type the domain name directly into their browser and go to their selected web page.

Dynamic DNS

Dynamic DNS is the second term in our list of DNS terms. Dynamic DNS (DDNS) has the advantage of automatically updating and changing the host’s IP address.

The A or AAAA DNS entries in classical DNS connect the domain name to the IP address. Dynamic DNS ensures that the user may still access the domain name even if the IP address is changed by the ISP. It is a really easy-to-use solution that also happens to be quite helpful.

Domain name

Another really important term is the domain name. It is a line of text used to map an IP address. We use it to visit websites by writing memorable and straightforward names rather than their numerical addresses, known as IP addresses. For example, instead of 213.45.178.32, we type example4domain.net. So the domain name here is example4domain.net.

IP address

The Internet Protocol (IP) uses an identifier called an IP address to name hosts on the Internet. IANA creates and assigns each IP address, which is completely unique. Furthermore, they are a prerequisite for devices to communicate and exchange information over a network. Today we divide the IP addresses into two categories: IPv4 and IPv6.

Example for IPv4 – 213.45.178.32
Example for IPv6 – 50f1:dc4:0:0:0:ffff:d52d:b220

DNS records

Let’s continue with the next term – the DNS records. They are text files that contain information about the Domain Name System. Every domain has a different amount and variety of DNS records. In addition, they represent the domain’s many entities and settings. For example, the most popular records are – SOA, A, PTR, MX, etc.

DNS query

The process of finding the IP address (an A record or an AAAA record) or different DNS records of a domain we known it as a DNS query. For example, when a customer requests information, it creates a DNS query.

DNS server

And the last important term on our list is the DNS servers. They are split into two categories: authoritative name servers and recursive name servers.

  • Authoritative name servers keep track of a particular zone’s zone file. Furthermore, they are the only ones who can respond to DNS queries. The root server, TLD server, and authoritative name server for a certain domain are examples of such servers.
  • The objective of recursive name servers is to collect the DNS query from the user and then search for the required information. To do so, these servers pass through a series of servers until they get the solution. Consider them to be the intermediary between users and authoritative name servers.

Conclusion

DNS is a multi-component system that aims to make the Internet user experience more pleasant. To sum up, you can now confidently state that you are conversant with the basic DNS terms. They are the basis upon which everything else is built.