Home BUSINESS ARC Email Explained: How Authenticated Received Chains Work

ARC Email Explained: How Authenticated Received Chains Work

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about email all that much. You open your email client, check your messages, and then close it again. But have you ever stopped to consider how email works? For example, how do those messages get from one person to another? In this article, we will discuss how email works and how Authenticated Received Chains (ARC) help improve the security and reliability of email communication. In the end, you’ll have ARC email explained to your satisfaction.

What is email, and how does it work?

Email is a system that allows users to send and receive electronic messages. Email messages are typically sent via the Internet, but they can also be sent via other networks such as private email servers. When you send an email, it is first delivered to an email server. The email server then forwards the message to the recipient’s email server. The recipient’s email server then delivers the message to the recipient’s inbox.

Email servers use a variety of protocols to communicate with each other, but the most common protocol is SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). SMTP is a text-based protocol developed in the 1970s, and it is still in use today. When sending an email, your email client uses SMTP to connect to an email server and submit the message. The email server then uses SMTP to forward the message to the recipient’s email server.

The basics of ARC email

Authenticated Received Chains (ARC) is a new standard developed to improve email communication security and reliability. ARC allows email servers to verify that the sender sent the message and that it was not modified in transit.

When you send an email, your email client creates an ARC header that contains information about the message. This header is added to the message when delivered to the first email server. The first email server then adds its own header to the message and forwards it to the next email server. This process is repeated until the message reaches the recipient’s email server.

The headers that are added by each email server contain information that can be used to verify the message’s authenticity. For example, when the message reaches the recipient’s email server, the ARC headers verify that the sender sent the message and was not modified in transit.

If the message passes all of the ARC checks, it is delivered to the recipient’s inbox. If the message fails one or more of the ARC checks, then it is either rejected or flagged as suspicious.

Why is ARC important?

ARC is important because it helps to improve the security and reliability of email communication. By verifying that the sender actually sent the message and that bad actors did not modify it in transit, ARC helps to protect against email spoofing and other types of attacks.

Email spoofing is a type of attack where the attacker sends a message that appears to be from the victim. The message may contain malicious attachments or links, or it may simply try to trick the recipient into revealing personal information.

If the victim’s email server does not verify the authenticity of the message, then the message will be delivered to the victim’s inbox, and the attacker will achieve their goal. However, if the email server uses ARC to verify the message’s authenticity, then the message will either be rejected or flagged as suspicious.

Some other FAQs about ARC email

What is the difference between ARC and DKIM?

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is another standard that can be used to improve the security of email communication. Like ARC, DKIM allows email servers to verify that the actual sender sent the message.

However, there are some differences between ARC and DKIM. For example, DKIM uses cryptographic signatures to verify the authenticity of the message, while ARC does not.

Another difference is that DKIM can be used to verify the authenticity of messages that are sent via other protocols besides SMTP. In contrast, ARC can only be used to verify the authenticity of SMTP messages.

What is the difference between ARC and SPF?

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is another standard that can improve the security of email communication. Like ARC, SPF allows email servers to verify that the message was sent by the sender and not modified or spoofed.

There are differences between ARC and SPF. For example, SPF uses DNS to verify the authenticity of the message, while ARC does not.

Another difference is that SPF can only be used to verify the authenticity of messages sent via SMTP. In contrast, ARC can be used to verify the authenticity of messages that are sent via other protocols besides SMTP.

Can I use ARC with my existing email infrastructure?

Yes, you can use ARC with your existing email infrastructure. However, you will need to ensure that your email servers support ARC.

Email providers that support ARC include Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft Outlook.com. If you use one of these providers, you can start using ARC right away.

If you use a different email provider, you will need to contact the provider to see if they support ARC.

Are there any disadvantages to using ARC?

One potential disadvantage of using ARC is that it may cause some legitimate emails to be flagged as suspicious or rejected. This can happen if the email server uses a strictARC policy.

Another potential disadvantage is that some email providers do not yet support ARC, which means that you may not be able to use ARC with all of your contacts.

Overall, however, the advantages of using ARC outweigh the disadvantages.

How do I know if ARC is right for me?

If you are concerned about email security and want to help protect against email spoofing and other attacks, ARC is a good choice.

If you are not concerned about email security or do not want to help protect against email spoofing and other attacks, then ARC is not right for you.

In conclusion

ARC is a promising new standard that can help to improve the security of email communication. If you are concerned about the security of your email messages, then you should consider using ARC.

Also Read: What Is The Best Alternative To Email – And Why Should You Care?

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