How To Protect Your Customers From Phishing Using BIMI
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What is BIMI?
As internet scams continue to rise, so does email phishing. Smart business owners continue to look for viable ways to protect their business and customers from internet fraudsters. One of such methods is having BIMI integrated into their email sending server. BIMI is designed to put an end to the problems of impersonation and phishing emails. The company is working with brands and business owners to help their customers and email recipients easily identify that an email is from them. BIMI means Brand Indicators for Message Identification. BIMI is a tool for email authentication. It works like DKIM, DMARC, and SPF. These are three of the best tools that brands can use to stamp their identity on all outgoing emails from their server, verifying the authenticity of such emails. BIMI will prevent scammers from deceiving and swindling them. Customers can also know whether a message is from a brand they trust or a brand that imitates it just by looking out for the signature logo of the company. They can easily identify a fake email and trash it immediately without bothering about its content.
How Does BIMI Work?
BIMI is a text file that resides on the sender’s server. When a receiver receives a message from an organization, the ISPs will check the BIMI text and its location. Once it verifies the message, the BIMI file will inform the email service provider where the sender’s logo is. Once the email service provider finds the logo, it attaches it to the receiver’s inbox. The receiver will know the source of the information once he or she sees the logo. This simple and effective system developed by BIMI makes email verification easy. When you are setting up this tool for your brand, there are some important things you need to pay attention to:
- If you want to create a new BIMI DNS (Domain Name Servers) entry for your brand, you must have access to the DNS.
- You must set some extra authentication records for BIMI before it can work well. These records include DKIM, SPF, MAP, and DMARC.
- Your logo should be in SVG file.
At the moment, it is not every email service provider that supports this software. Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Google, Verizon, and Microsoft are the service providers that currently support it. However, it is only a matter of time before other providers support it.
What are the Benefits of BIMI?
Apart from using BIMI to authenticate and verify email messages, it offers some other benefits such as:
1. Brand recognition
Every business owner wants its brand to stand out from the crowd. If you are different from your competitors, potential clients will recognize you. That gives you an edge over your competitors. More people will patronize you. That will boost your revenue and profit. BIMI allows companies and organizations to be different from their competitors. When a business puts its logo on the messages it sends to its customers, it creates some kind of psychological connect with them.
2. Open rates will increase
A lot people don’t open messages from a sender they don’t know, but will not hesitate if it is coming from a brand they are familiar with. Increasing your open rates is a step in the right direction as a business owner. It means you are getting more eyeballs on your offer which will ultimately increase your sales.
3. Patronage will increase
Brand recognition can influences more customers to buy your products or services. Your logo on every email you send out is like a badge. It makes you appear real to your target audience. People naturally want to do business with those they consider real.
4. It reduces fraudulent messages
People who intend to scam unsuspecting users sometimes do so through fraudulent messages. Over the years, the number of victims of such messages has increased by 400%, according to a survey. BIMI helps to reduce the number of scam messages that get to the receiver, thereby reducing the number of such messages the receivers open and read. When receivers notice that a message doesn’t contain the logo of a brand they trust, they may not be too willing to read such messages. If they don’t read them, they are safe from the snarls of scammers.
5. Business Security
Brand impersonation can kill a business. If you want to remain relevant in your industry, you must protect your brand and prevent your customers from being exploited. A brand with no strong security measures can be easily manipulated by impersonators. When impersonators take over the brand, they may start creating products that are below par. As people buy these fake products, your brand will begin to lose credibility and in no time, your customers will look elsewhere for solution to their problems. And they might be gone for good. That doesn’t have to happen to you. With BIMI, consumers will know the difference between your brand and the counterfeiter by looking at the logo. A logo that is different from yours will tell them that the message is not from you. Thus, your brand will not take the blame for what others are doing. You want to make your brand as simple and straightforward as possible, removing anything that can create confusion.
Why is BIMI Important for Email Deliverability?
As the cyber space continues to evolve, people have continued to patronize brands due to the trust and confidence they have in them. Gone are the days when email content was enough to move a customer to buy a product or hire a service. If they don’t trust you, they may not be willing to do business with you, even if your message is perfect. You need more than mere scribbling of words to attract more customers to your business. You must gain their trust and confidence first. If you send messages to random people who don’t know your brand, that will affect your email deliverability. They may not open the message because they see you as an intruder. BIMI allows a brand to increase its popularity and create a reputation that customers can have confidence in. When customers trust your brand, they will happily open and engage with your emails. That will increase your deliverability. And more importantly, help you sell more of your products or services easily.
The Negative impacts of Phishing Emails
Phishing remains one of the most effective ways that cybercriminals use in stealing from people. They send out messages that give them access to private and sensitive information about people. When they want to send phishing emails to their targets, they pretend to be organizations or people that the receivers know and trust. For instance, scammers may pretend to represent a user’s bank or other service providers. The message may ask the receiver to send personal information for a specific purpose. For instance, they may ask them to send their banking details for verification while pretending to be their banker. Many people released their information when filling an online survey form. The scammers in charge of the website may promise people money and other gifts if they include their banking information on the survey form. In most cases, there is no reward for such surveys; the goal is to make people give their confidential information. Many people fell for this trick in the past and many are still falling for it. What does it matter? This is one of the reasons many genuine and legitimate brands and businesses continue to struggle online. The cyberspace has been polarized. Trust has been eroded. It is increasingly becoming difficult to reach people, build trust and get them to do business with you. Because, frankly, how can they tell you are not out to swindle them? The moment a potential customer doubts your credibility, you have most likely lost them. People only do business with those they trust. Especially people who have fallen victims of phishing emails in the past, they are usually paranoid. As a brand or business owner, you have to stand out. You need to build a bankable brand. You need to register your brand in the mind of your customers. How do you achieve that? Get a brand identity. You need to be unique in such a way that when your customers see a deceptive email, they instantly know that it isn’t from you. And they wouldn’t even bother to engage the email, saving them from potential scam or theft. This is why every brand needs to do all they can to protect their customers from these mindless attacks. One of such important steps is integrating BIMI into their system. BIMI doesn’t only boost your brand’s recognition, it protects your customers from phishing attacks.
How Can You Implement BIMI?
One way to prevent customers from falling victim to phishing email attacks is to use a tool like BIMI that places your brand’s logo right in the inbox of your customer. This shows them that the email is genuinely from you, and not an impostor. Here are the steps you can follow below:
- Make sure that you verify all the messages that your brand will set out. You can do this with Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). Other standards you can use are SPF and DKIM.
- When you have completed the verification, identify the brand logo you want to use. Know the sending domains that are using the logo.
- Change your public Domain Name System (DNS) zone for some domain names that your brand uses. This way, you have published a BIMI Assertion Record. You can change up to five domain names.
You can protect your business from being manipulated by internet fraudsters by taking the extra step of having every email you send out to your existing customer and prospective ones carry your brand’s logo using BIMI. Doing this boots the recognition and reputation of your business. In fact, it will make your customers love and trust you more. Trust is a priceless currency in the online marketing space, earn it and watch your sales go through the roof.
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