Google is taking on spam with an extra layer of e-mail authentication for Google Apps users.
The company announced Jan. 6 it is making it possible for all Google Apps users to sign their outgoing messages with DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) so that their mail is less likely to get stopped by recipients' spam filters. Google Apps administrators can enable DKIM signing in the "Advanced Tools" tab of the control panel.
DKIM ties a domain name to an e-mail, allowing an organization to take responsibility for a message in a way that can be validated by the person receiving it. The capability is being offered at no extra cost and continues Google's longtime-support for e-mail-signing standards such as DKIM and DomainKeys, blogged Adam Dawes, product manager for Google Enterprise.
"As more e-mail providers around the world support DKIM signing, spam fighters will have an even more reliable signal to separate unwanted mail from good mail," he wrote. "We're pleased to let millions more organizations use DKIM with this improvement."
Dawes added that since launching Gmail in 2004, Google has supported e-mail signing standards to help validate outbound mail with digital signatures. On the inbound side, Google worked with eBay and PayPal in 2008 to authenticate their mail with DKIM and block unsigned messages headed to Gmail accounts, he wrote.
"E-mail authentication is an important mechanism to verify senders' identities, giving users a tool to recognize potential spam messages," Dawes blogged. "In addition, many mail systems can display whether a received message is DKIM-verified, which helps spam filters verify and assess the overall reputation of the sender's domain: messages from untrusted senders are treated more skeptically than those from good senders."