Friday, January 12, 2024

Email Authentication Requirements for 2024

In October 2023, Google and Yahoo revealed significant changes in enforcing stricter rules for email transmissions. Google's recent announcement outlined that domain owners sending bulk emails to Gmail addresses must authenticate their emails. Similarly, Yahoo’s announcement specified that bulk email senders must authenticate their emails using recognized email authentication standards, provide one-click unsubscribe options, and deliver valuable content to Yahoo users. Both companies have also announced that the changes are scheduled for February this year.

New Requirements for Bulk Senders

Google imposes a more stringent criteria; hence, adhering to these guidelines will also meet Yahoo's requirements.

  1. Authenticate your email.

Google and Yahoo have declared that it is important for companies sending lots of emails to use email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for all email addresses. This helps stop scammers from pretending to be real companies and sending spam to people.

  1. Allow recipient to easily unsubscribe.

Users should have the ability to easily unsubscribe from your mailing list with a single click. This one-click unsubscribe feature is among the requirements set by Google and Yahoo for bulk emails. It aims to simplify the process for recipients to opt out of unwanted messages, ensuring a spam-free inbox.

  1. Keep spam report rate as close to 0% as possible.

Both Google and Yahoo recommend a spam rate not exceeding 0.3%. That’s 3 in 1000 messages. Ideally, try aiming for under 0.1%. Consistently flagged messages can lead to future emails from your domain being marked as spam. Focusing on sending emails to willing recipients and steering clear of unsolicited messages is the best approach.

Google and Yahoo’s Sender Guidelines

Gmail and Yahoo’s updated criteria primarily focus on larger bulk senders. If you are to look into the detailed requirements, you will see that certain rules will only affect high-volume senders dispatching over 5,000 emails daily, but there are also rules that are intended for low volume senders. If you are a small or medium organization, these changes may seem less impactful—but ignoring them is not advisable.

Google’s Requirements for all senders

Additional Requirements for senders sending 5000 emails daily

Set up SPF or DKIM email authentication for your domain.

Set up both SPF and DKIM for your domain

Ensure that sending domains or IPs have valid forward and reverse DNS records (PTR records).

Set up DMARC email authentication for your sending domain. Your DMARC policy can be set to none (p=none).

Use a TLS connection for transmitting email.

For direct mail, the domain in the sender's From: header must be aligned with either the SPF domain or the DKIM domain. This is required to pass DMARC alignment.

Keep spam rates reported in Postmaster below 0.10% and avoid reaching a spam rate of 0.30%.

Format messages according to Internet Message Standard (RFC 5322).

Do not impersonate Gmail From: headers to prevent email delivery issues as Gmail will be at p=quarantine.

Add ARC headers for forwarded emails; mailing lost senders add List-id: header


Yahoo’s requirements for all senders:

  • Authenticate your mail. Implement SPF or DKIM at a minimum.

  • Keep spam rates low. Keep it below 0.3%.

  • Have a valid forward and reverse DNS record for your sending IPs.

  • Comply with RFCs 5321 and 5322.


What are the consequences if I overlook this?

Expect more of your emails to go to spam in Gmail and Yahoo mailboxes, a decline in engagement, and the potential risk of being blacklisted.

Is this a one-time setup?

Setting up SPF and DKIM is typically a one-time process. However, regular monitoring is essential for DMARC and Google Postmaster. It is equally crucial to uphold list hygiene and adhere to other recommended practices.

When can we expect these changes to happen?

The changes are scheduled for a gradual rollout starting in February 2024, providing opportunities for refinement and adaptations influenced by industry input.

Are you ready for Google and Yahoo’s requirements this 2024?

How Interlock IT can help with DMARC

Do not let uncertainty hold you back. Connect with one of our experts today to review your DMARC configuration and ensure you are not lagging behind.

  • Setup and Implementation: Establishing DMARC may involve technical complexities, but rest assured, Interlock IT will manage all the intricate technical aspects of configuring DMARC for your domain.

  • Monitoring and Reporting: We conduct continuous monitoring and analysis of DMARC reports, guaranteeing vigilant oversight of your email channels for smooth and secure operations.

  • Compliance and Optimization: We will ensure that your email transmission practices stay in line with the most recent standards, enhancing both email deliverability and security.

Adjusting to the updated email prerequisites established by Google and Yahoo will be vital in upholding email deliverability and security. With Interlock IT, you can effortlessly navigate these changes. Our proficiency in DNS configuration, supervision, and conformity guarantees your emails reach the right audience, sustaining effective and secure business communications.

We hope this blog has helped you in getting ready for the upcoming changes in February 2024. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to guide you through this transition.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Fact or Fiction: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Myths vs. Business Benefits


In the previous blog, the discussion unraveled the intricacies of email authentication mechanisms - SPF, DKIM, and DMARC and their fundamental roles. Today, the focus shifts toward dispelling common myths encircling these mechanisms. They are not immune to misconceptions, and clarifying their true capabilities is essential to identifying their tangible benefits for businesses. From boosting credibility to safeguarding against cyber threats, these mechanisms hold significant value beyond their technical functions.

Myths Unraveled

1. SPF alone suffices for email security.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) works by checking whether an email was sent from an authorized IP address. However, it is important to note that SPF alone does not provide comprehensive email security. It needs to be combined with DKIM and DMARC, and together, they work as a robust solution against email spoofing.

2. DKIM guarantees unalterable emails.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) works by adding a domain's signature to emails and ensures that the email remains unaltered in transit. A valid DKIM signature guarantees that the message originated from the domain specified in the signature, but it provides no information on whether the content is safe. Also, while DKIM provides an encrypted digital signature, it does not encrypt the actual content of the email.

3. DMARC eliminates most email phishing and spoofing concerns.

While DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a powerful tool in combating email phishing and spoofing, it does not completely eradicate all concerns related to these threats.

The image below is an example of a phishing email that passed SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

Phishing email example

The email looks legitimate; it displays the company logo, uses official language, and directs the receiver to a landing page that mirrors the organization's website. The problem arises when the cursor hovers over the "Update Account Now" button. Instead of leading the customer to the company's domain, it leads to an unfamiliar website.

Some users believe that DMARC should have caught this phishing attempt. But why did DMARC fail to catch this?

DMARC identifies spoofed emails from your domain, often used in phishing scams. But in the example above, the attacker used a look-alike domain, replacing the (oh) in orange with a 0 (zero). If the attacker has set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for the look-alike domain, chances are the fraudulent email will reach the user's inbox. Even if the content would be obvious to some as phishing, to the DMARC system, the email is properly authenticated.

4. I've set up DMARC for my email domain as I'm using Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, both of which assure support for DMARC.

Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace check for DMARC validation. However, they do not offer DMARC data analysis.

5. DMARC is only for big organizations and major email senders.

DMARC is not exclusive to large organizations that send high volumes of email. It is essential for all businesses, regardless of size, to authenticate their emails and prevent domain spoofing or impersonation. All businesses can benefit from the security measures DMARC provides to safeguard their email communications and maintain their domain's integrity.

Dispelling the misconceptions surrounding email authentication protocols is the first step in uncovering their inherent benefits. Once clarified, these protocols reveal their vital role in upholding email integrity. Let us explore their tangible benefits in safeguarding email integrity. 

Why implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC?

Enhanced Email Credibility

Implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC boosts your email authenticity. Verified emails are less likely to be marked as spam or phishing attempts, enhancing your brand's credibility.

Improved Deliverability

By reducing the chances of legitimate emails landing in spam folders, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC contribute to better email deliverability rates, ensuring critical messages reach the audience. With improved deliverability, it will immediately increase the open rates and ROI on marketing emails.

Brand Reputation Protection

Preventing unauthorized usage of one's domain for malicious purposes preserves a brand's integrity and trustworthiness in the eyes of their clients and partners. By safeguarding against email fraud and spoofing, they build trust with customers, assuring them that communications from their domains are authentic and secure.

Comprehensive Email Protection

The combined use of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC provides a multi-layered defense, significantly reducing the likelihood of successful email-based attacks. These mechanisms provide robust defenses against email spoofing and phishing, safeguarding sensitive business and customer data.


As digital risks evolve, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC stand strong as shields against cyber threats. While debunking myths is crucial, understanding their pivotal role in fortifying email security and their substantial business advantages is equally vital.

Empowering a business with these protocols involves effective implementation, safeguarding its communications, and fortifying the brand's trustworthiness and reliability in cyberspace.

Protect your emails, protect your business!

Friday, December 22, 2023

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Explained


Emails are like the superheroes of modern business communication - it transcends distances, shares ideas, and keeps everyone in the loop. It is not about sending words, but building relationships, making connections and transactions that matter. But lurking in the shadows are cyber threats, often disguised as emails aiming to deceive and compromise security.

Picture this: You wake up to find an email from your bank, urgently requesting your login details due to a supposed security breach. Alarming, right? Yet, such emails, despite seeming legitimacy, might be fraudulent attempts aiming to dupe unsuspecting recipients into divulging sensitive information. Enter the trio of email authentication protocols: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These ensure that the emails landing in your inbox are the real deal, not sneaky imposters trying to cause trouble. Email authentication might sound technical but think of it as a special lock or shield that keeps your emails safe and trustworthy. For businesses that use email a lot, it is like a handshake that assures recipients that the email that they are reading is genuine. 

SPF: Sender Policy Network

SPF is like a bouncer for your email inbox. It also determines which servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of a domain. SPF works by publishing a specific list of authorized email servers in the DNS (Domain Name System) records of a domain.

Here is the SPF record published by Reddit as an example:

SPF Record by Reddit

This implies that your inbox should receive emails from addresses only if they were sent from servers at,,,, and those particular IP addresses listed as approved servers within the DNS records. When an email arrives, SPF validation kicks in. It checks if the sending server matches the designated records. If the server's identity aligns with the records, the email is more likely to get through. If not, it might be marked as suspicious or even get rejected.

DKIM: Seal of Approval

DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is similar to affixing a digital seal to your emails. It operates by adding an encrypted signature to the email's header using a private key. The corresponding public key, residing in the domain's DNS records, allows the recipient's email provider to verify the email's authenticity. This cryptographic signature acts a tamper-proof seal, ensuring the email's content remains unaltered throughout its journey.

Emails like this often appear in spam folder, prompting a cautionary approach due to suspicious origins.

Suspicious email, report phishing button

Deep diving into the mail specifics,

Yellow warning banner, unfamiliar sender

'Mailed-by' refers to the sender's domain. If the correct domain appears here, it means the email passed SPF authentication.

'Signed-by' showcases a sample DKIM. However, in this example, the sender used a generic Google DKIM signature, hence the different signed-by domain. Using a generic DKIM signature signifies absence of a customized DKIM setup. This situation often leads to the email being flagged or marked as suspicious.

The importance of setting up DKIM is to establish email's authenticity. If the domain implements a custom DKIM, the 'signed-by' domain will display the same domain as in the "from" address, increasing the email's credibility.

DMARC: Orchestrating Email Security

DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance. It is an email authentication protocol that helps prevent email spoofing and phishing by allowing domain owners to specify how their emails should be authenticated.

DMARC works right after confirming authentication with SPF and/or DKIM. If the answer is yes, the next step DMARC will do is domain alignment. Domain alignment ensures that the domain used in the "From" address of the email aligns with the actual domain that sent the email. It checks two things: SOF, which confirms the sender's server, and DKIM, which adds a digital signature to the email. If alignment is successful, it enhances email security, making it harder for malicious actors to impersonate legitimate senders. If alignment fails, DMARC policies can instruct receiving mail servers on how to handle these unauthenticated emails, reducing the risk of phishing and spoofing attacks.

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in Harmony

When harmoniously implemented, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC form an impenetrable shield against email spoofing and phishing. Their collaborative efforts not only bolster email security but also enhance deliverability, enduring legitimate emails reach their intended recipients' boxes rather than the dreaded spam folders or worse, be rejected.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Maximize Your Business Potential with Microsoft Office 365 - Seamless Deployment by Interlock IT


Having the perfect tools can make all the difference for businesses. Imagine this: Microsoft Office 365, the superhero suite that transforms how teams work and collaborate. At Interlock IT, we are not just a face in the crowd; we are part of Microsoft's 5% crew, flaunting our Silver Microsoft Partner Competency badge with our pride. Our mission? To be your guiding star through the incredible world of Microsoft Office 365. We've got the expertise, the experience, and the passion to make your journey to Office 365 as smooth as can be.

Unlocking the Power of Microsoft Office 365

Many businesses face the challenge of navigating the complex world of Office 365 deployment. The wrong implementation can lead to unnecessary recurring support costs or the inefficient "managed services." Interlock IT believes in doing it right for the first time. We ensure that your Office 365 deployment aligns perfectly with your business needs, eliminating ongoing "break and fix" expenses.

Partnering for Success

As a Silver Microsoft Partner, Interlock IT stands out in providing solutions that leverage the full potential of Microsoft Office 365. We understand the intricacies of this suite - Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Outlook - hosted by Microsoft without hefty upfront costs of an on-premise deployment.

Why Choose Interlock IT for Microsoft Office 365?

  • Expert Deployment: We deploy Office 365 with precision, ensuring a seamless integration tailored to your business requirements.

  • Eliminating Unnecessary Costs: Say goodbye to unnecessary recurring support expenses. Our deployment ensures a cost-efficient setup, eliminating the need for ongoing "break and fix" solutions.

  • Empowering Productivity: Harness the power of Office 365's rich desktop-based applications combined with the flexibility of fully hosted Internet services for unparalleled productivity.

  • Seamless Collaboration: Enable seamless collaboration and communication across your organization, transforming the way your teams work together.

Your Path to Office 365 Success Starts Here

Don't let the complexities of Office 365 deployment hold your business back. Partner with Interlock IT, where expertise meets experience, ensuring a hassle-free and successful implementation of Microsoft Office 365.

Ready to Transform Your Business?

Get in touch with us today, and let's embark on this journey together. With Interlock IT by your side, embrace the power of Microsoft Office 365, propelling your business towards enhanced productivity, collaboration, and success!

Friday, December 1, 2023

Maxed Out: Understanding Google Workspace's Pooled Storage Exceeded

Pooled Storage Limit

Are you exhausted by the constant flood of email alerts and notifications, incessantly reminding you that your pooled limit storage has exceeded? Seeking a subscription upgrade but frustrated by the slow and cumbersome response from Google support? Whether you are a seasoned user or just stepping into the world of Google Workspace, these alerts disrupt your workflow, hindering productivity, and causing unnecessary stress. Why not opt for a direct conversation with a human, at no extra cost, to find your best subscription? Interlock IT is your solution. Interlock IT is here, providing personalized guidance to simplify your subscription, minus the hassles.

We all know that Google is always on the move, tweaking how we store and manage data. Recently, Google switched up how storage works in Google Workspace. Previously, everyone had their own storage limit, but now it is all about this shared pool of storage for the whole company. According to Google, "Pooled storage provides a more simple and flexible way to manage storage, as all storage is shared across the organization, removing the need to manage it on a per-user basis."

Here's the scoop: instead of each person having their own storage limit, the company now shares one big pool of storage. Sounds good, right? Well, the tricky part comes when this shared pool hits its limit, and suddenly there's a risk of not being able to create new documents. That's what Google calls "pooled storage exceeded."

What's the fix? Google has 2 suggestions: it is either freeing up your Google storage space or buying more Google storage. Opting for a higher-tier plan in your Google storage is a more favourable option than constantly trying to free up space within your existing storage. Sure, it might cost a bit more, but it also means getting more storage space. This upgrade helps avoid productivity losses that happen when the shared storage pool hits its cap.

This shift to shared storage in Google Workspace means a more collective way of managing space but also calls for a heads-up about possible limits. Getting that higher-tier plan might mean a smoother ride in the long run, ensuring everyone can keep working seamlessly in Workspace.

In the end, Google's storage switch has its upsides and downsides. Sharing storage means a more collective approach, but it also means keeping an eye on those limits. Opting for an upgraded plan can save a lot headaches, ensuring things keep running smoothly within Google Workspace.

Contact Interlock IT, and let us assist you in choosing the most suitable Google Workspace subscription at the best value, all without any additional cost!

Friday, November 24, 2023

Optimizing Google Workspace Operations: The Interlock IT Solution

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, the way we work has transformed dramatically. Amid this shift, Google Workspace stands tall as a beacon of innovation, redefining the landscape of productivity and collaboration. 

At its core, Google Workspace is a powerhouse of productivity tools. Its integrated suite—from Gmail to Docs, Sheets, Drive, and more—provides a harmonious ecosystem that streamlines workflows. It eliminates the need to juggle between disparate platforms, allowing users to navigate effortlessly through their tasks. This consolidation significantly boosts efficiency, enabling individuals and businesses alike to focus on what truly matters: their work. 

As users navigate the vast potential of Google Workspace, the need for expert guidance becomes paramount. This is where Interlock IT enters. Interlock IT works like a helpful guide for businesses using Google services. They are experts in making Google tools work even better for you and your business. Positioned as proficient specialists, Interlock IT excels in optimizing the functionalities of Google tools to meet specific business needs. Whether it involves setup, issue resolution, or optimizing operations for seamless efficiency, Interlock IT stands as a dedicated partner, committed to empowering businesses to derive maximum value from Google's services. 

With Interlock IT now in focus, let’s delve deeper into the advantages they bring. Businesses often encounter hurdles in managing Google Workspace storage and efficiency. Here's where Interlock IT shines, offering tailored solutions to streamline these challenges. 

Personalized and Dedicated Support 

Interlock IT offers more personalized solutions, catering specifically to the needs of individual businesses or clients, whereas Google might have more standardized responses due to the scale of its operations. Dedicated Account Managers: Interlock IT assigns dedicated account managers who offer more personalized attention compared to the more automated or self-service support models of larger corporations. 

Direct and Immediate Contact 

Google primarily offers support through online forums, help articles, and community boards. Accessing direct one-on-one support can be challenging. Interlock IT provides direct contact with a dedicated support team, ensuring quicker response times and a more direct line of communication compared to Google's more extensive but less direct support system. 

Specialized Expertise and Focus 

Solutions provided in forums or community boards might not always be accurate or reliable, leading to potential misinformation or incomplete resolutions. Interlock IT has a more in-depth understanding of specific technical issues or solutions within its niche, providing more targeted and specialized assistance compared to the broad spectrum of services Google offers. 

Proactive and Relationship-Oriented Support 

During peak periods or for certain issues, getting a timely response can be frustrating. Users might experience delays in getting their queries addressed. Interlock IT takes a proactive approach to client communication, ensuring swift issue resolution and a smoother user experience. It prioritizes proactive engagement with clients, aiming to swiftly address concerns, ultimately fostering a more efficient and seamless interaction. 

Flexibility and Adaptability 

Interlock IT offers greater flexibility in tailoring its services to match the unique preferences of each client. This adaptability extends to payment and subscription plans, setting it apart from the limitations typically seen with Google's payment methods. While Google primarily restricts payment options to credit cards, Interlock IT widens the horizon, allowing subscriptions to be paid via credit cards and bank transactions, offering clients a more diverse and accommodating range of payment choices. 

Google Workspace is Better with Interlock IT 

Interlock IT isn't just a service provider; it’s a transformative partner in the realm of Google Workspace. Its unwavering commitment to personalized support, proactive problem-solving, and tailored solutions sets its expertise apart in the digital landscape. We understand your aspirations—to cultivate a workplace where collaboration knows no boundaries, enabling your team to thrive regardless of location. The acceleration of your company's growth isn't a distant dream but an achievable reality. 

If you haven't partnered with Interlock IT for your Google Workspace needs, we highly recommend joining us to revolutionize your digital experience. With Interlock IT, you're empowered to navigate Google Workspace adeptly, ensuring seamless operations, informed decisions, and expert management of your digital ecosystem. Join us today and unlock a new level of productivity!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Google Workspace transition from G Suite is happening soon!

On October 6, 2020 Google introduced the Google Workspace brand, product experience, and set of offerings to better equip customers for the future of work. Whether you're at home, at work, or in the classroom, Google Workspace is the best way to create, communicate, and collaborate.

Google has notified Google Cloud Partners like us that G Suite customers will be automatically transitioned beginning January 31st, 2022.

But please note that all legacy G Suite customers can choose to transition or upgrade early to receive the new Workspace features, plus take advantage of pricing incentives on annual commitments.

For customers on G Suite Business with Google Vault, the switch to Google Workspace Standard increases the price from $15.60 CAD to $23.40 CAD or $18 USD/user/month:

G Suite (Old)Google Workspace (New)
FeaturesG Suite BusinessBusiness StandardBusiness Plus
Google Meet Recording
Maximum Number of Meet participants100150250
Device Audit Log
Google Vault
Price - Monthly$15.60 CAD$15.60 CAD$23.40 CAD

For customers on G Suite Basic the price remains the same at $7.80 CAD or $6 USD/user/month and the only features lost in the switch to Google Workspace Starter are Android and endpoint device management related.

If you have a legacy G Suite subscription and buy direct from Google, transitions to Google Workspace subscriptions and prices will begin as soon as November 2021. We highly recommend contacting a Google Workspace focused partner like us to review incentives available for upgrading. We deeply understand the nuances of the different plans and will ensure you buy only what you need, potentially saving you big money over the long term.

For customers considering dropping Google Vault, we offer less expensive 3rd party backup options that provide superior protection against malicious actions, as well as disaster recovery. Google Vault, however, is still the best option for e-discovery, retention policies, and legal holds.

For expert assistance on transitioning to Google Workspace, email us at or call us at (416) 840-6268 !

Helpful links:

Google Workspace FAQ
Google Workspace vs G Suite editions detailed comparison
Compare Google Workspace editions - Business
Google Workspace - Pricing and Features
Cloud Identity Comparison
Google Workspace Services Summary
Google Workspace Technical Support Services Guidelines
Cloud Identity Services Summary
Compare Education Editions
Google Workspace for Education