Warning! DMARC Policy Changes in AoL Might Affect You by

Not long ago we informed you about the changes that Yahoo made in their DMARC Policy, and how it may affect you. Right now we can see that this was not an isolated incident, as AoL made and announced the very same change last night. Below are the few things you need to know about.

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What happened?

Let’s have a quick look back at what we have written before. DMARC is one of the youngest security standards, which was created to fight off the increasing amount of phishing attempts.

It gives the owner full control over all of the emails (actual individual messages) that use their domain in the “from” address and are not sent from their servers, allowing them to specify if those messages are delivered, quarantined or rejected.

This is to make sure that nobody, except for you, can send emails using your “From” address. Same as Yahoo did about 3 weeks ago, AoL set DMARC to reject all of the messages that have aol.com and aim.com domain in the “from” address, and are not sent through AoL servers.

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What do I need to do?

DMARC policy is respected by most major ISPs like Hotmail, Gmail and of course Yahoo, to mention only a few outside of AoL. This means that if you use @aol.com or @aim.com in your “from” address, you should expect an increase in the amount of bounced emails on your sends.

In consequence, to protect yourself and ensure that your email deliverability is not affected by this change or similar potential future policy adjustments, make sure to always use your own e.g. company domain in your “from” address.

Check out this step-by-step manual to change your “from” addres:

  1. Set up a private domain or select an existing one to use in the “From” addresses.
  2. Add a new From Address by going to My Account » Account Details » From Email Addresses and set it as default.
  3. Remove the AoL email address and choose which new From Address should be used in place, if AoL is being used e.g. in already running autoresponders or other scheduled newsletters.

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What to do next?

We cannot state clearly whether this is some kind of one time occurrence or rather a trend that most probably other ISPs will follow as well.

don't know what to do next

I know that a lot of you may be wondering: what about the reputation I already had on the From Field I used so far?, but you should not worry about that. As you may experience some light turmoil right after you switch this address, your reputation should be back on track in the matter of no time.

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