Make Your WordPress Site More Secure with a Two-Factor Authentication
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The security of your WordPress website depends on many factors. It’s vital to choose a reliable hosting provider, install themes and extensions from time-tested providers, as well as protect your site’s admin area with two-factor authentication.
The technique is not new. It’s actively used by email service providers, social media, and coworking platforms. So, why don’t you add an extra level of security to your WordPress site by adding the two-factor authentication?
The choice of a strong password is one of the key factors that define your website’s security. With a sharp increase in automated password guessing, your sensitive information is at a higher risk than ever before. That’s why it’s essential to implement the two-factor authentication to your site.
What is two-factor authentication?
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of protection for your WordPress site. It works as an extra user verification tool enabled when someone wants to log into their account on your WordPress site.
As the default WordPress settings, a user only needs to enter username and password to access the dashboard. Any of these can be guessed after a series of attempts to choose the right login details. Of course, you can limit the number of login attempts with the respective WordPress plugin, or you can enable the two-factor authentication to ensure that your website is adequately protected.
With a two-factor authentication added to your site’s login page, a user needs to enter login and password details like they usually do. Then, they need to enter another piece of information that confirms it’s them logging in. The confirmation may include anything like this:
- Information that only the user knows, like a secret code or a PIN code.
- A security code that is sent to the user’s email;
- Something that proves it’s you, like a fingerprint or face scan;
- A text message sent to your phone number.
Here’s how it works. Whenever a user needs to access your site’s dashboard, they should first enter username and password. Next, the two-factor authentication comes into play, asking you to enter a verification code that only you have.
When trying to login to a bank or an official entity’s website, you may be asked to enter credentials and a time-sensitive PIN code or a fingerprint on your smartphone.
Reasons to add WordPress two-factor authentication
Cybercrime is on the rise. Personal data breaches, data loss, and password hacking have been on the rise for the last couple of years and are expected to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021.
Even if you think you have chosen a strong password for your site, it’s easier to hack it than you may think. If you run a multi-user website, you cannot feel confident that your team members use passwords with a high-security level.
Using a strong password alone isn’t enough to enforce your website’s security. One user error slip-up might end up in hackers gaining access to your website’s admin area and putting your web resource at risk. Even if one password on your website isn’t safe enough, then the two-factor authentication can halt scammers at the next stage.
With that being said, the main reasons to implement the two-factor authentication to your website include:
- Your website will be more protected from fraud and hacking attacks.
- Your data will be more secure, as well.
- You will organize better teamwork, giving contributors to your WordPress blog more freedom to safely access their working areas.
- A well-protected website shouldn’t be fixed as often as a web resource with a weak password.
- You will be able to increase trust with your customers. On seeing that you take care of keeping your web page a safer web environment, people are more likely to appreciate working with your brand.
Two-factor authentication WordPress plugins
Enough said, let’s proceed to the list of the top-recommended WordPress plugins that will add an extra security level to your site with the two-factor authentication.
It’s one of the most popular two-factor authentication plugins for WordPress. It adds an extra security level to your website while letting you complete the two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for Android/iPhone/Blackberry.
As soon as you install and activate the plugin, enable the Google Authenticator app on your smartphone. The next time you log in to your WordPress site, the plugin will ask you to enter the code from the Google Authenticator app along with the login and password details.
The plugin provides two ways of authenticating the two-factor connection on your website, including authentication via email and YubiKey. The email authentication includes two methods that let people pick their preferred method – using cookies or IP addresses. However, the plugin doesn’t support authentication via Google Authenticator, SMS, phone call, push notification, or QR code.
It is one more popular WordPress plugin that adds the two-factor authentication to your site for free. Once installed and activated, you can manage its settings right in the WordPress user profile page. It lets you control the following configurations:
- Sending authentication codes via email;
- Authentication that requires a third party device;
- Sending time-based one-time codes with Google Authenticator app.
The plugin doesn’t have a global setting to enforce the two-factor authentication on website users. Website administrators need to enable it manually for every user. The Two-Factor plugin supports backup codes. You can use one of them if you cannot generate the second factor to login to your WordPress admin area.
The plugin is free to use. It’s also easy to set up and configure. The two-factor authentication WordPress plugin supports the following protocols:
- It uses time-based one-time passwords generated via Google Authenticator app.
- It also sends verification codes via email.
The plugin supports backup codes, which you can use when you lose access to the primary two-factor authentication code generator. Besides, it delivers a bunch of other handy options, like App passwords and Trust This Computer.
- The Trust This Computer setting will come in handy to those who use the same device to access our websites’ admin areas. The plugin will ask you to enter the one-time verification code and remember your login details for 30 days.
- App Passwords are permanent passwords for applications connected to your WordPress site and do not support the two-factor authentication.
Installing the plugin on your WordPress site, please mind that every user should enable the two-factor authentication independently. The website administrator cannot enforce it.
To use the Unloq Two Factor Authentication plugin, you need to install Unloq’s smartphone application first. To get started with the plugin, you need to install it on your website and activate the Unloq account while specifying your email address. Once you complete the verification, you may feel free to decide which of the two-factor authentication methods you’d like to be used on your WordPress site.
The plugin is worth of your attention for many reasons:
- It supports both OTP and email as the second factor for authentication.
- As an administrator of your WordPress website, you have a central location from where you can manage all users.
- You can use the same setup for multiple WordPress websites that you manage.
- Instead of entering a one-time code every time you log in to your site, the plugin supports push notifications.
Using two-factor authentication is one of the best ways to protect your website from malicious attacks. There are many other techniques that you may use to transform your website into a secure online environment. However, having a well-protected admin area is your key to success.
Using two-factor authentication WordPress plugins, you can integrate your web resource with the respective functionality worry-free. Additionally, you get many bonus tools and features that let you optimize your team’s work and allow several users access their working areas safely.
Enable the two-factor authentication to add another level of security to you WordPress site.