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American Greetings raises e-card defenses against phishers

The greeting card company is now using an anti-phishing standard known as DMARC to help block fake e-mails.

Have you ever received an e-mail with a link to an e-card and wondered whether it was legit?

Those of you who send or receive e-cards via American Greetings now have an extra layer of protection against phony phishing e-mails.

Working with security company Agari, American Greetings has put in place a new spec called DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) geared toward protecting its users.

DMARC is a verification system that can determine whether e-mails are coming from legitimate senders or imposters trying to coax people to click on malicious links. The system shares feedback among companies to try to thwart phishers who attempt to send phony messages.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL have already been tapping into the system by sending data to Agari, which collects around 1.5 billion messages per day and analyzes them for phishing patterns. Other companies part of the organization include Facebook, PayPal, Comcast, LinkedIn, and now American Greetings.

"Our goal is to instill confidence with each email we send, so every user can proceed with complete assurance of the integrity and authenticity of the AG Interactive brand," Gary Von Hoch, vice president of web operations and IT for American Greetings Interactive, said in a statement. "Working with Agari will allow us to focus on continuing to proactively investigate abuse while leveraging real-time reports and alerts, so we can immediately take appropriate action to shut down and correct issues that may arise."

Agari protects more than 65 percent of U.S. consumer e-mail traffic and more than one billion mailboxes, according to American Greetings. By managing the DMARC standard and analyzing patterns in e-mail, Agari can report on phishing attacks, malware, and other scams as they occur.