Why Your Website Needs 2 Factor Authentication

2FA WordPress Authentication

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In today’s increasingly digital world, we’re constantly seeing stories about hackers and data breaches in the news. If you operate a website, keeping Administrative access to only authorized people is important.

Unfortunately, a strong password by itself isn’t enough to keep the most clever hackers out of your accounts. 2FA or Two-factor authentication (or multi-factor authentication), provides an extra layer of protection for your important logins.

This post will explain why you want to use two-factor authentication, anytime it’s available to you, and especially for business websites.

What Is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication is an added layer of protection to safeguard your sensitive WordPress website.

Depending on how you have installed or configured your website, your login credentials could be the only barrier between a hacker and your important data. When someone has access to your username and password, all they need to do is hack into your account to wreak havoc.

Why Is Two-Factor Authentication Important?

When you only use a username and password combination to protect your login page, you’re vulnerable to certain types of attacks. 

If your login credentials are hijacked, an attacker could lock you out of your own website or delete content and files (such as images and videos), or worse, put content on your website that you do not want on your website.

The importance of using two-factor goes well beyond your website. We could write a whole other post on the security benefits of 2fa for your financial accounts, social media profiles, and email accounts, and more…but that’s not the purpose of this post, and others have explained the benefits of 2fa and are more qualified to speak on general security habits.  

Let me explain why you should add two-factor authentication to WordPress websites.

Why is Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) Important for WordPress Website Security?

As we said before, two-factor authentication is important for your website security because it makes it so the person logging in needs more than just your password for authentication, which makes it more difficult to hack into.

Since WordPress is the most popular CMS on the web, it’s targeted by automated attacks. Following good WordPress security practices like having a strong password is a good first step, but adding 2FA to your website will harden your site further.

Getting Started with Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is an add-on feature in most WordPress security plugins, such as iThemes Security Pro, Better WP Security and Wordfence. 

The method for adding two factor authentication depends on how you’ve installed or configured your website (e.g., if you’re using a managed hosting plan), how your website is set up (e.g., if you’re using an e-commerce platform), and your preferred method for receiving your 2FA security code.

Two step authentication vector illustration, flat cartoon smartphone and computer safety login or signin, two steps verification

2FA / MF Authenticator App

Google Authenticator is an app that generates authentication codes for 2FA . It’s free and it’s available on both Android and iOS

After you download Google Authenticator, start by adding your account information to the app using your phone number or email address as a username. Then, press the “add account” button. The app will generate a list of six-digit security codes you can use as login credentials with Google Authenticator.

If you aren’t too keen on using Google’s app for two-factor authentication, there are several alternatives available for both Android and iOS.

SMS Two-Factor Authentication

For those who don’t want to download a separate app, SMS can be used as an alternative for adding 2FA to your login page. When you activate this option, your WordPress website sends you a text message with a security code (e.g., 123456) every time you try to log in.

There are a few downsides with SMS 2FA to be aware of:

SIM Card Manipulation – Hackers are clever and have found ways to put your SIM card and even your phone number in jeopardy. 

Social engineering attacks against your mobile phone provider can allow the hacker to gain access to your account for long enough to duplicate or re-route your SIM to their personal device, allowing them to recover receive your 2FA codes by text message, giving them access to your formerly secure website login.

What are the best Two-factor Authentication WordPress Plugins?

How should you add two-factor authentication to WordPress?

There are several plugins that will help you add two-factor authentication to your WordPress website. 

Here are the best two factor authentication WordPress plugins

Two-Factor Authentication

This plugin is lightweight and as the name suggests, will add two-factor authentication to your WordPress website in just a few seconds.

Google Authenticator

This plugin is one of the most popular and does exactly what you would expect it to do: add 2FA security to your WordPress website using Google Authenticator technology. It’s free, easy to install and configure, includes a QR code generator, and works with WordPress multisite installs.

Wordfence

Wordfence is a security tool for WordPress that offers a large array of features, one of them being, you guessed it: two-factor authentication. Wordfence has a free and premium version, so you can try it out before deciding if this plugin is for you.

Remember, just because you’ve installed these WordPress 2fa plugins, that doesn’t mean your website is completely secure. You should still follow best security practices for WordPress websites.

Now Go Add Two-Factor Authentication to Your Website!

If you’re still reading this, it’s probably because security is something you value and I’m thrilled you made it this far! But reading a post about securing WordPress isn’t the last step!  

Take 5 to 10 minutes and complete the process of adding two-factor authentication to your WordPress website and you’ll thank yourself later.

Want Help Adding Two Factor Authentication to WordPress?

The team at Bocain Designs can setup 2fa for your WordPress website and show you how to use two-factor authentication to keep your website login secure.  Contact us and we’ll get 2fa installed on your WordPress website quickly and professionally.

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