What is DKIM and SPF?

You can use cPanel's Authenication interface allows you to enable or disable Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF). These features provide information about incoming mail. The system uses this information to verify that a trusted sender sent the messages.

NOTE: Both the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication functions require that you use our DNS. Both of the features should be enabled by default as well.


DKIM verifies the sender and integrity of a message. It allows an email system to prove that spammers did not alter an incoming message while in transit (forgery), and that the messages that your domains receive come from the specified domain.

  • To enable DKIM, click Enable.
  • To disable DKIM, click Disable.

If you already use the DSO PHP handler and you enable DKIM, emails that you send will not display any information in the Return-PathReply-To, or From fields in the email header. As a result, DKIM will show nobody as the sender. If you use a PHP script, manually add the headers.

The following PHP script adds the missing fields to an email header:

$to      'nobody@example.com';
$subject 'the subject';
$message 'hello';
$headers 'From: webmaster@example.com' "\r\n" .
    'Return-Path: webmaster@example.com' "\r\n" .
    'Reply-To: webmaster@example.com' "\r\n" .


SPF attempts to deny spammers the ability to send email while they forge your domain’s name as the sender (spoofing). SPF adds IP addresses to a list of servers that can send mail from your domains. It verifies that messages that your domains send originated from the listed server, which reduces the amount of backscatter that you receive.

  • To enable SPF, click Enable.
  • To disable SPF, click Disable.

You can use the following Advanced Settings options to further configure SPF:

  • Click Add to add domains.
  • Click Remove to remove domains.
  • Click Update to save your changes.
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