Last updated
February 16, 2024

DKIM Record Generators: Best Options in 2024

Brian Wu

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When it comes to cyber threats, securing email communications is more critical than ever. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) stands at the forefront of this battle, offering a layer of verification to ensure that emails are protected from tampering and impersonation. 

This guide will explore the intricacies of DKIM record generation, providing insights into choosing the right tools and techniques to implement DKIM effectively. Let’s dive in!

Introduction to DKIM Records

What Is DKIM?

DKIM is an email authentication method that allows the receiver to check that an email claimed to have come from a specific domain was indeed authorized by the owner of that domain. This is achieved through the use of cryptographic keys. DKIM provides a way to sign and verify emails, making it much harder for attackers to forge emails from domains that have DKIM records set up.

The recipient can confirm whether an email appearing to come from a specific domain was, in fact, authorized by the owner of the domain by using DKIM, an email authentication method. To do this, cryptographic keys are employed. Because DKIM provides a mechanism to sign and verify emails, it is far more difficult for attackers to forge emails from domains that have DKIM records set up.


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Why DKIM is Essential for Email Security

Fighting Email Spoofing: Email spoofing is an attack strategy in which senders pretend to be reliable sources in emails that they genuinely don't send. By confirming that the email is authorized by the domain owner, DKIM helps prevent this by making it much more difficult for attackers to successfully spoof emails and improve email deliverability

Minimizing Phishing Attacks: Phishing attacks frequently trick recipients into divulging sensitive information by sending phony emails. DKIM lessens the possibility that phishing attempts will be successful by verifying the legitimacy of the email sender.

How to Generate a DKIM Record

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating DKIM Records

Step 1: Understand the Role of Your Email Service Provider

Many email service providers (ESPs) offer DKIM setup as part of their service. Before manually generating a DKIM record, check with your ESP to see if they can automate this process for you. If your ESP supports DKIM but requires you to generate a record yourself, they will provide the necessary details for the selector and the public key.

Step 2: Choose a DKIM Selector

A DKIM selector is a unique identifier that distinguishes between multiple DKIM keys under a single domain. When generating a DKIM record, you'll need to choose a selector. This can be any piece of text, such as a word or a combination of characters. Remember, each DKIM record you generate for different services (if using more than one email service client) should have a unique selector.

Step 3: Generate the DKIM Key Pair

1. Use a DKIM Record Generator: Many online tools and your email service client can generate DKIM key pairs. These tools will ask for your domain and selector to create a public and private key pair.

2. Key Length: Choose a key length when generating your DKIM key pair. The most common lengths are 1024 and 2048 bits. A longer key provides stronger cryptographic encryption but may be incompatible with some older systems. For most users, a 1024-bit key offers a good balance between security and compatibility.

Step 4: Publish the Public Key in Your DNS

After generating the key pair, you need to publish the public key in your domain's DNS records. This is done by creating a TXT record. The name of the TXT record should be in the format of ``, where `selector` is the selector you chose, and `` is your domain name.

The value of the TXT record will be provided by the DKIM record generator and typically includes the `v=DKIM1` tag indicating the DKIM version, followed by the `p=` tag which includes your public key.

Step 5: Configure Your Email System to Sign Emails with the Private Key

This step usually involves configuring your email server or email service client to use the private key to sign outgoing emails. If you're using an ESP, they might handle this step for you, or you may need to upload the private key through their platform.

Step 6: Test Your DKIM Record

After setting up your DKIM record, it's crucial to test it to ensure it's working correctly. Several online tools allow you to send a test email to their address, and they'll report back on the DKIM (and SPF/DMARC) validation status.

To better understand how to set up a DKIM record, click here!

Choosing the Right DKIM Selector and Key Length

Choosing the right DKIM selector and key length is pivotal for optimizing email security and manageability. A DKIM selector is a unique identifier that distinguishes between multiple DKIM keys under the same domain, allowing for flexible management of email authentication across various email sources or systems. It's essential to choose a selector that is easily identifiable and relevant to the specific use case or email source it represents. As for key length, the industry standard options are 1024 and 2048 bits. 

Top DKIM Record Generator Tools

1. EasyDMARC


  • Comprehensive email security solution offering DKIM, SPF, and DMARC record generation and management.
  • User-friendly interface and setup process.
  • Provides detailed reporting and analytics for monitoring email authentication performance and security threats.


  • Advanced features and analytics come with the paid plans, which may not fit all budgets.

2. SparkPost


  • Advanced email analytics and deliverability insights.
  • Offers DKIM record setup as part of a broader range of email management tools.
  • Scalable solutions suitable for businesses of all sizes.


  • The focus is more on email deliverability than on the broader aspects of email security.
  • Pricing can be on the higher side for smaller businesses.

3. PowerDMARC


  • All-in-one email authentication platform that supports DKIM, SPF, and DMARC.
  • Real-time threat detection and alerting.
  • Offers phishing protection and brand protection services.


  • May require a certain level of expertise to fully leverage all features.
  • Pricing is based on volume and features, potentially making it expensive for high-volume users.



  • Easy to use platform for managing DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records.
  • Provides detailed reports and actionable insights into email authentication and security.
  • Includes threat intelligence and forensic analysis.


  • Some advanced features are only available in higher-tier plans.

5. SocketLabs


  • Offers robust email delivery solutions along with DKIM record management.
  • Provides detailed analytics and reporting for email campaigns.
  • Excellent customer support and documentation.


  • The platform's primary focus is on email delivery, with DKIM being a part of the package, which may not suit users looking for a dedicated DKIM management tool.

6. ZeroBounce


  • Provides email validation and verification services along with DKIM setup assistance.
  • Helps improve email deliverability and sender reputation.
  • Offers a range of additional tools for email list cleaning and spam trap detection.


  • DKIM setup and management is not the core focus of the platform, so it might lack some advanced features found in specialized tools.

7. DKIM Core


  • Simple, straightforward tool focused solely on generating DKIM records.
  • Free to use, making it ideal for individuals and small businesses starting with email authentication.
  • Good for basic DKIM implementation without the need for extensive additional features.


  • Lacks the comprehensive analytics, reporting, and additional email security features of more advanced platforms.
  • No direct support or management features for troubleshooting or optimizing DKIM records beyond generation.

Feature / ToolEasyDMARCSparkPostPowerDMARCDMARCLYSocketLabsZeroBounceDKIM CoreKey Length Options1024, 2048 bits1024, 2048 bits1024, 2048 bits1024, 2048 bits1024, 2048 bitsNot specified1024 bitsUser InterfaceIntuitive and user-friendlyComprehensive with advanced analyticsUser-friendly with detailed reportingSimplified for ease of useFocus on email deliverability insightsClean and straightforwardBasic, web-basedAdditional FunctionalitiesFull suite of email authentication tools, analytics, and reportingEmail delivery and analytics servicesComprehensive email security solutions including threat detectionBasic DKIM, SPF, and DMARC managementAdvanced email delivery solutions, including bounce and complaint trackingEmail verification and list cleaning servicesBasic DKIM record generation

Advanced DKIM Record Concepts

Understanding DKIM Selectors

A DKIM selector is a specific identifier used when generating a DKIM record. It plays a crucial role in distinguishing between multiple DKIM keys used by a single domain. This flexibility is essential for domains that send emails through various systems or services, as it allows each email stream to be authenticated independently.

The Role of Public and Private Keys in DKIM

DKIM's authentication process hinges on the use of a pair of cryptographic keys: the private key and the public key. These keys are used to create and verify a digital signature attached to outgoing emails, ensuring the email's integrity and authenticity.

Private Key:

Usage: The sender's email system uses the private key to encrypt the DKIM signature. This signature is a hash of the email's content, including headers and body, ensuring that any modification to the email can be detected.

Security: The private key must be securely stored by the sender and not shared. Its security is paramount, as possession of the private key would allow an attacker to sign emails as if they were the domain owner.

Public Key:

Distribution: The public key is published in the domain's DNS as a TXT record. It is openly accessible, allowing anyone (specifically, receiving email servers) to decrypt the DKIM signature of incoming emails.

Verification: The receiving server uses the public key to decrypt the signature and then compares it to a hash it generates from the received email. If the hashes match, it confirms the email was not altered after being sent and that it indeed originates from the claimed domain.

Implementing Your DKIM Record

How to Add DKIM Records to Your DNS

Step 1: Generate Your DKIM Key Pair

Before you can add a DKIM record to your DNS, you need to generate a DKIM key pair. This usually involves using a tool or service provided by your email service provider (ESP). The key pair consists of a private key (which your email server will use to sign outgoing emails) and a public key (which will be published in your DNS).

Step 2: Create a DNS TXT Record for Your DKIM Public Key

Once you have your DKIM public key, you will need to create a new TXT record in your DNS. The specifics of how to do this depend on your DNS host, but the general process involves logging into your DNS management console, choosing to add a new TXT record, and then entering the appropriate values provided by your DKIM generation process.

The Host/Name of the TXT record should be something like:

``, where `selector` is the selector specified during the DKIM key generation process, and `` is your actual domain name.

The Value of the TXT record is the string that includes your DKIM public key and looks something like:

 `"v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQD..."` (the actual key will be much longer).

Step 3: Propagate the DNS Changes

After adding the DKIM TXT record, it may take some time for the changes to propagate across the internet. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours. During this time, your new DKIM setup will not yet be active.

Testing and Verifying DKIM Records

Step 1: Use a DKIM Record Checker

Once your DNS changes have had time to propagate, it's important to verify that your DKIM record is correctly set up. Several online tools allow you to check your DKIM record by simply entering your domain and selector. These tools will query your DNS and confirm whether the DKIM record is found and correctly formatted.

Step 2: Send a Test Email

Another way to test your DKIM setup is to send a test email from your domain to an email address that you control. You can then inspect the email headers for a DKIM-Signature field, which indicates that the email was signed. Some mail providers, like Gmail, allow you to view the original message source where you can see these headers.

Step 3: Use Authentication Test Services

Services like Mail-Tester or the testing tools provided by some ESPs allow you to send an email to a specific address, and then receive a report on the email's authentication status, including DKIM, SPF, and DMARC. This is a comprehensive way to ensure that your DKIM record, along with other email authentication methods, is correctly set up and functioning.

Enhancing Email Security with DKIM and Email Validation APIs

The Interplay between DKIM Records and Email Validation

DKIM provides a way to verify that an email message was sent from an authorized mail server, to protect against unauthorized use of a domain, and to confirm that the email content has not been altered. However, DKIM alone does not guarantee that emails are sent to valid and actively managed email addresses. 

This is where email validation and verification becomes critical. By ensuring that email addresses are correct and active, email validation complements DKIM's security measures by reducing the chance of sending emails to non-existent or incorrect addresses, which can be a sign of spam or phishing attempts.

Importance of Email Validation in DKIM-secured Email Communication

Implementing DKIM secures email communications from the sender's side by authenticating email sources and integrity. Adding email validation into the mix enhances this security framework by:

Reducing Bounce Rates: Sending to invalid addresses can harm a sender's reputation and email deliverability. High bounce rates can lead to blacklisting by ISPs.

Preventing Fraud: Verifying email addresses can also prevent fraud by ensuring that communications only go to intended and legitimate recipients.

Improving Engagement: By ensuring emails reach valid addresses, organizations can improve engagement rates, as messages are more likely to be opened and read by intended recipients.

How Email Validation APIs Enhance DKIM's Effectiveness

Email Validation APIs can automatically check the validity of email addresses in real-time or through batch processing before sending emails. This capability enhances DKIM's effectiveness in several ways:

Enhanced Deliverability: By filtering out invalid email addresses, Email Validation APIs ensure that DKIM-signed emails are not wasted on non-existent inboxes, thus enhancing the sender's reputation and email deliverability.

Improved Security Posture: By verifying that email addresses are valid before sending, organizations reduce the risk of inadvertently engaging in potentially harmful communication with bad actors or compromised accounts.

Integrating Email Validation APIs with DKIM Record Management

Integrating Email Validation APIs into your DKIM record management process involves several steps:

1. Select an Email Validation API Provider: Choose a provider that offers comprehensive validation features, including syntax checks, domain/MX record checks, and disposable email address detection.

2. Integrate the API with Your Email Sending Application: Most Email Validation APIs are designed to be easily integrated into existing email sending applications or services. This can usually be done with a few lines of code.


Common Issues and Troubleshooting DKIM Records

Common Issues with DKIM Records

1. Incorrect DKIM Record Format: The DKIM TXT record in DNS might be incorrectly formatted, missing essential parts like the "v=DKIM1;" tag or having syntax errors.

2. Selector Misconfiguration: The selector used in your DKIM record might not match the selector specified in your email headers, causing verification failures.

Troubleshooting DKIM Records

1. Verify Record Format: Use DKIM record checker tools online to ensure your DKIM TXT record is correctly formatted and contains all necessary parts.

2. Check Selector Configuration: Ensure the selector in your email’s DKIM signature matches the selector used in your DNS record. Update your email system or DNS record as needed to ensure they align.

Ensuring DKIM Compliance

Regularly Review DKIM Setup: Periodically check your DKIM setup to ensure it remains valid and compliant with current standards.

Monitor Email Deliverability: Use tools and reports (like DMARC reports) to monitor your email deliverability, looking for signs of DKIM failures.

Case Studies:


During the first half of 2022, LinkedIn emerged as the brand most commonly mimicked in phishing campaigns, highlighting its vulnerability to impersonation attempts. Given the scrutiny over its email security protocols, the adoption of DMARC, DKIM, and SPF became crucial for enhancing its email security framework. By implementing these key email authentication standards, LinkedIn significantly bolstered the security of its email communications, protecting its domain from phishing and fraudulent activities effectively. 


PayPal stands out as a prime example of effective DMARC implementation, complemented by DKIM and SPF, to enhance email security. As a co-publisher of the DMARC standard in 2012, alongside tech giants like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, PayPal demonstrated its commitment to combating email abuse early on. This proactive approach to email security has played a pivotal role in significantly curbing email spoofing and phishing attacks targeting its brand. By integrating DMARC, DKIM, and SPF into its email authentication practices, PayPal has safeguarded its users and the organization itself from potential financial and reputational damages. 

The Future of Email Authentication

The future of email authentication is set to evolve with advancements in technology and cybersecurity threats. 

Trends in Email Security

Trends in email security indicate a move towards more sophisticated and integrated approaches. Emerging technologies in DKIM, such as enhancements in cryptographic algorithms and key management practices, are expected to provide stronger defenses against increasingly sophisticated email-based attacks.

The Role of AI in Email Authentication

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to play a significant role in email authentication, offering the potential to automate the detection of phishing attempts, spoofing, and other malicious activities by analyzing patterns and anomalies in email traffic. AI-driven systems could also streamline the management of email authentication protocols, including DKIM, by optimizing key rotation schedules and improving the accuracy of authentication processes.


While DKIM plays a crucial role in verifying the authenticity and integrity of email messages, integrating additional measures such as email validation through APIs further strengthens email security. This combination ensures that emails not only come from a verified source but also reach legitimate and active email addresses, thereby enhancing overall email deliverability and protecting against spam and phishing attacks.

The synergy between DKIM and email validation highlights the need for ongoing vigilance and adaptation in the face of evolving email threats. By leveraging the right set of tools and practices, organizations can secure their email communications, safeguard their reputation, and ensure the trustworthiness of their digital communications.


What is the difference between DKIM and SPF?

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) uses cryptographic signatures to verify that an email was sent and authorized by the domain owner, ensuring the email's content has not been altered. 

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) validates the sending mail server's IP address against the domain's authorized senders list in DNS. While DKIM focuses on email integrity and sender reputation, SPF is about validating the sender's IP address.

How often should I update my DKIM records?

Regularly updating your DKIM records, such as every 6 to 12 months, is a good practice for maintaining email security. However, the frequency can vary based on your organization's security policies and the operational environment. Key rotation helps mitigate the risk of key compromise.

Can I use multiple DKIM selectors for the same domain?

Yes, you can use multiple DKIM selectors for the same domain. This is useful for managing different email sources or services sending emails on behalf of your domain, allowing for separate DKIM signatures and policies for each email stream or service.

Brian Wu
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