Reading your DMARC report

Level: intermediate


To help you understand the purpose of a DMARC report, recognize the report when it’s sent to you, and interpret the report. 

Understanding DMARC 

DMARC (Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) is a strategy that prevents domains from being hijacked by spoofing attempts. Spoofing is the fabrication of an email header and content for the purpose of tricking the recipient into thinking the email originated from an email address that’s not owned by the person sending the email.

DMARC prevents domains from being hijacked by using SPF and DKIM authentication to check and verify that the visible “from” header of an email matches the email address it’s actually from.

DKIM is another spoofing-prevention strategy and must be set up for DMARC to be effective. If you’re using your own domain with your Hushmail account, you’ll want to set up DKIM and DMARC. You can read the step-by-step instructions to set up DKIM and DMARC in our help article Setting DKIM and DMARC for your domain. When you set up DMARC, you’ll receive a daily report detailing how the emails you’ve sent have been received. 

Recognizing your DMARC report

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you might delete your DMARC report thinking it’s spam. It will come in an XML file format and look like this:


This is just a small excerpt of a report. The actual report will be longer.

Reading your DMARC report

The information in a DMARC report can help you determine who’s sending email on your behalf, if a sender is allowed to send email on your behalf, and if the messages are authenticated correctly. The information includes the dates messages were sent, the IP addresses of the senders, and the results of the DKIM and SPF authentication checks – among other things.

To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to read the report. Using a DMARC report analyzer tool is the best way to fully understand the status of your emails.  

Next steps: 

If you’d like to know more about DKIM and DMARC, you will find helpful information in our blog post What you need to know about spoofing

Customer Care will also be happy to answer your questions. 

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