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Add Two-Factor Authentication for WordPress

Being used widely in various websites and applications, WordPress is prone to various security threats. Therefore, take various security precautions to ensure that you do not incur data and financial losses. The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and find your website in shambles.

There are many ways that you can secure your WordPress site from various vulnerabilities. They include secure hosting, installing SSL certificates, securing your database, identity access management, preventing hotlinking, installing multi-factor authentication mechanisms, and many other ways.

The while they all provide security to your WordPress site, multi-factor authentication is probably the best way to secure your WordPress site from a wide range of attacks. In this post, we will look at how to implement two-factor authentications to secure WordPress.

Best WordPress Security How to Add Two-Factor Authentication to Your WordPress Site

Adding two-factor authentications to your WordPress site is easier than you may think. When you add two-factor authentication it can help secure your website. Are you concerned about hacking and brute force attacks? Switch to two-factor authentications.

To secure a WordPress site, two-factor authentication is a must. We highly recommend it, mainly if your WordPress application deals with shopping and banking applications. There are various plugins for installing two-factor authentication on your WordPress site.

What is 2FA

Two-factor authentication is a subset of multi-factor authentication (MFA) used as a security mechanism for verifying a user’s identity through two different authentication factors.

Other classes include single-factor authentication (SFA), where users verify their identity by providing only one factor- usually a passcode or a password. It has a lower level of security compared to 2FA.

Besides the password, the user also enters another factor like biometrics or a security token in two-factor authentication. The next class of Multi-Factor Authentication is 3FA. Three-factor authentication provides better security than 2FA. Besides the password or passcode, it requires two more factors.

Why add two-factor authentication on a WordPress site?

There are various sets of vulnerabilities that WordPress sites are vulnerable to. Dictionary attacks, brute force attacks, credential stuffing, are the common and most dangerous attacks on a WordPress site. Attackers use automated bots to guess login credentials repeatedly until they get the correct combination.

When the attacker validates login credentials, they can use them to perform account takeovers or inject malware into your site. Hence, it is recommended that you use passwords that have complex combinations of special characters, lower and uppercase letters, and numbers.

However, if you want to make the site more secure, the best way is to add two-factor authentication. It ensures that even if the attacker has your password, they cannot access your account because they need to enter a security code on your phone.

2FA can also protect sensitive data belonging to your customers. Thus, the trust and loyalty that the customers have in you are boosted. In WordPress, you can set up two-factor authentication in two ways: Google authenticator app and SMS verification.

How to add two-factor authentication in WordPress through SMS

Using this method, you add 2FA to the login page of your WordPress site. When a customer enters the username and password, it prompts them to enter a code sent to your phone through a text message.

To enable 2FA authentication using this mechanism, download and install WP 2FA or Two-factor plugins onto your WordPress site. You can install the two plugins as they can complement each other. Follow the following steps to activate your SMS authentication on your WordPress site.

  1. Go to Users -> Your profile page after you activate the plugins. Scroll down and select two-factor authentication.
  2. Select the SMS (Twilio) option. To make Twilio your primary choice, for verification, click the round button to activate it.
  3. After that, scroll down to the Twilio section. Enter your Twilio account information.
  4. Go to your Twilio Dashboard and click on the Get Started Button if you already have a Twilio account. If you do not have a Twilio account, go to their website and create an account.

The following are the steps to creating a Twilio account.

  1. Go to the wizard and set up your account. It is on this page where you get your first Twilio Number.
  2. It then provides you with a phone number depending on the location.
  3. Save this number and then choose on the ‘Choose this Number’ button.
  4. Leave this wizard and go to the Geo Permissions page under the Settings. In this section, you can set the countries that you want to send the SMS to.
  5. Then copy the Auth Token and your account SID from the Twilio console.
  6. Return to the WordPress Profile and enter Twilio Information
  7. In the Receive Phone Number section, enter the phone number and click Update Profile.

Next time you or your customers log in to the account, it will require them to enter the unique OTP sent to your mobile phone.

Using Google Authenticator

The other way to add two-factor authentication to your WordPress site is by using a Google Authenticator app. The following are the steps to add 2FA using the google authenticator application;

  1. Download and install the Google Authenticator app into your phone
  2. Return to your WordPress dashboard and set it up for Authenticator Application.
  3. Download, install and activate the Google Authenticator plugin to WordPress
  4. On the WordPress Menu, Go to Users -> Your profile. This is where Google authenticator settings are.

These settings are of two modes; active and relaxed mode. In the relaxed mode, the authenticator code expires after a specified number of minutes. Because Google Authenticator code is just six characters long, unless you are slow at typing, we recommend using the active mode.

Conclusion

Two-factor authentication is among the most effective techniques for preventing unauthorized access to your WordPress site. It is an excellent way to keep your security updated.

While it takes longer to log into your account, you can relax knowing that you are secure. As we have seen, it is easy to set up two-factor authentications, as you can see from the above. Multi-factor authentication remains the best way to protect a WordPress site.

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