AMP for email made its first appearance in 2018, with a subset of AMP components to make emails more engaging. It evolved in leaps and bounds and now serves dynamic and interactive content. AMP email users complete a wide range of actions right within the inbox. They do not get redirected to an external landing page; therefore, their drop-off rates are significantly lower.
Users can fill out forms, schedule meetings, track exchange rates, book tickets, complete payments, buy insurance, make investments, and do much more in their inboxes. With so many interactions happening within AMP emails, protecting data is an enormous challenge.
As much as 96% of malware and phishing attacks arrive by email. As AMP emails are more likely to contain confidential and sensitive information, there is a lot of emphasis on protecting all that user data.
Let’s take a quick look at the technology that makes AMP emails safer. We will explore the security and privacy requirements AMP emails must meet before reaching user’s inboxes.
The first protocol is to ensure the sender of the AMP email is legitimate. AMP emails use the following three email standards to ensure the sender’s legitimacy.
1. SENDER POLICY FRAMEWORK (SPF) authentication
A list of all authorized hostnames and IP addresses which are permitted to send emails on behalf of the organization’s domain are listed on an SPF record. When an inbound mail server receives an email, it compares the sender’s IP address with the authorized IP addresses defined in the SPF record. The receiving mail server validates the sender and decides if it should deliver the AMP email to the inbox.
2. DOMAIN KEY IDENTIFIED MAIL (DKIM) authentication
DKIM adds a digital signature to every outgoing message. The signature is a hash created by various components from within the message. These components are decided when the message is created and sent and cannot be changed later. If these fields change during transit, it denotes that the data is tampered with, and the DKIM authentication will fail. DKIM works in tandem with SPF to ensure the sender is legitimate and the message was not altered during transmission.
3. DOMAIN-BASED MESSAGE AUTHENTICATION, REPORTING, AND CONFORMANCE (DMARC)
When outgoing messages don’t pass the SPF or DKIM authentication, DMARC tells the receiving server what to do with the outgoing message from the organization. DMARC provides three settings for failed DKIM validation: quarantine, reject, and none. Quarantined messages don’t reach the intended recipient unless the administrator passes them to their inbox.
Encryption digitally converts information into a secret code. These codes hide the original text’s meaning and make the content indecipherable to third parties. The contents of the AMP emails are encrypted in transit using a cryptographic protocol – TRANSPORT LAYER SECURITY (TLS).
TLS uses symmetric encryption (using the same key to encrypt and decrypt the data) and public key encryption (using different keys for encryption and decryption) to secure private data. It has additional security features like authentication and integrity that help confirm the involved parties’ identities and to detect any attempts at message forging or tampering.
1. Whitelisting by Google
To send an AMP email, the sender’s domain and email ID should be registered and whitelisted by Google. This approval ensures the email is safe to deliver to the recipient’s inbox, bypassing any spam filters.
2. No ads or third-party inclusion
AMP for emails does not allow any ads to pop up in your emails. This feature ensures uninterrupted engagement with the AMP email. It also extends protection by not allowing malware and ransomware attacks – which are often disguised as ads. AMP emails do not allow promotions of products or services through in-frame ads and restrict third-party providers from utilizing the data.
3. HYPERTEXT TRANSFER PROTOCOL (HTTP) proxy
This protects user data and browsing activity by acting as an intermediary between the user’s computer and the websites they visit. All HTTP requests made from inside AMP emails get proxied and stripped of cookies to protect user data. The user’s browser connects to the proxy, which forwards the traffic to the website they are visiting, receives the response, and sends it back to the user. To enhance privacy and security, the real IP addresses are anonymous.
AMP emails can also feature specific components to enhance security. For example, access tokens can authenticate the user. The email sender supplies and checks the access tokens. The sender deploys the tokens to ensure that only those authorized to access the AMP email can make the requests within it. Access tokens are cryptographically secure and limited in terms of time and scope; they get included within the URL request.
In a nutshell, there are enough security measures in AMP emails to ensure that the convenience of the technology does not compromise data safety. Besides being robust, AMP email regularly upgrades its security features to keep novel threats in the digital world at bay. When it comes to safety and security, AMP emails are definitely a couple of notches higher than conventional HTML emails.
50+ top-notch brands such as YourStory, Axis Securities, CaratLane across industries partner with Netcore Cloud’s AI-powered email platform to roll out AMP emails and boost their ROI. Our AMP email wizards consult to achieve your specific KPIs and email marketing goals. Connect with us to understand how you can benefit from our expertise and experience – we send over 20 billion emails a month on behalf of businesses across 18 countries.