AOL (America OnLine) has updated their email policy to reject mail that does not adhere to DMARC policy. This means that “Mail sent on behalf of AOL Mail users to DMARC-compliant domains will be rejected by those domains unless the mail passes SPF and/or DKIM authentication checks AND the domain(s) used in those checks match aol.com.” Read more in their official post AOL Mail updates DMARC policy to ‘reject’.
Why did they do this?
This helps avoid a situation where someone is spoofing an email address. ‘Sender Address Forgery’, aka ‘Spoofing’, is a method of sending email out while pretending to be from a different sender. It is much like a stranger sending a letter to someone while placing your information as the return address on the envelope. This way it appears to have been sent from you and not the actual sender.
What is DMARC
DMARC is short for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, and is a way of verifying that messages are actually coming from the listed sender and allows abusive messages to be tracked with more ease. “DMARC standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication using the well-known SPF and DKIM mechanisms.” Read more about SPF and Domain keys in our full guide.
Who does this affect?
If you are using an AOL address to communicate with email servers using DMARC policies, your email may get rejected, or flagged as spam. This can be an issue, since many email servers (such as AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, Comcast) use and contribute to DMARC.
What can I do?
- If you are sending from an @aol.com address, use AOL’s Email Settings to authenticate with their server.
- Send from your domain instead, using your email settings.
- “For mailing lists we recommend configuring reply behavior to fill the From line with the mailing list’s address rather than the sender’s and put the actual user / sender address into the Reply-To: line. ” (as per AOL).
- “For website operators with ‘share from email’ functionality, please consider using an email address from your own domain as the From address and populate the Reply-To: line with the address of the person sharing.” (as per AOL).