Two-step or two-factor verification is one of the best ways to prevent unauthorized access to your WordPress account. Unlike the traditional mode for checking authenticity, which is based on something you know (your password), 2F authentication goes a step beyond – by adding something you have (authentication with the help of one of your devices or external accounts).
According to Google, two-factor authentication stops 100% of automated bot attacks. This approach to account security is also effective in battling bulk phishing attacks, and can significantly help in targeted attacks:
Why should you use 2F authentication? – Sobering Statistics
Unfortunately, WordPress is a tempting target for malicious hackers. Regardless of the motives behind the attack, hackers are more likely to focus on WP websites that sites which run on other CMS’s. When your WordPress site gets hacked, services like WPHackedHelp can solve the issue, but you should do everything in your power to stop it from happening in the first place.
A common threat for WP users is using old, non-updated installations of the platform. According to stats gathered from more than 40,000 WP sites in Alexa’s top 1 million, over 70% of them are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
In January 2020, Microsoft reported that over 1.2 million accounts were compromised. In another study, Security Magazine said that a hacker attack happens on the web every 39 seconds on average, and the number is boosted by the use of non-secure account protection systems.
Here are some of our suggestions for bulletproof plugins to enable two-factor authentication on your WordPress site:
Google is the king of authentication. It enables smooth, easy and completely free 2F authentication processes. This app and authentication method is actually used in many other 2FA plugins, so you can just circumvent other developers and install directly from Google.
The plugin pairs up with the Google Authenticator app (which you can get in the App Store or Google Play store) and uses your mobile device to prove that you’re the sole owner of the account you want to access.
The plugin is absolutely free, but that reflects on its features and possibilities. However, with 2FA, you don’t need a complex plugin with dozens of different perks. If you simply want to set up 2FA in just a couple of minutes, Google Authenticator is your guy.
Just like Google, to use the UNLOQ plugin as your 2FA method, you will have to install the app on your phone. Still, the setup process is very easy and fast and you’ll be ready to go in no time.
To start, just download the plugin and the app for your phone. After you confirm your email, you will be asked to set up the plugin. You can choose to enter your WP dashboard with password only, UNLOQ only or both. This is great for when you want to switch it up from time to time or ease up on 2FA when you’re onboarding a new team member. This plugin makes it easier to shut down 2FA once it’s activated compared to other plugins.
You can also choose one of the three options for UNLOQ authentication: email, one-off time-based password or a push notification.
MiniOrange is a powerful 2FA plugin that will enable you to set up a two-factor authentication that suits your needs and preferences the best. It’s one of the top favorites or WP plugin reviews, experts and web developers. You can choose among these authentication options:
- Google Authenticator
- QR code
- miniOrange Token
- Push notifications
- Security Questions
As you can see, this plugin contains the widest versatility of different 2FA options of all other plugins out there.
The miniOrange plugin is very well-developed and secure. It’s safe to say that it’s one of the best WP 2FA plugin available publicly. Just ask any WP developer for a recommendation and they will likely mention this plugin.
Duo is very simple but very efficient. It allows you to set up an additional layer of security for your WordPress admin area in just a couple of minutes. There are three authentication methods available:
- Duo Push notification
- Text Message
The plugin is very user-friendly and it’s likely that you won’t have a single difficulty during installation and configuration. Duo has deliberately focused on authentication methods that can work when you’re offline too such as callbacks, text messages and custom passcodes.
SecSign advertises as a plugin that ‘secures all your logins and gets rid of any password problems’. The way they do this is by adding an extra layer of security based on your mobile phone or Apple watch.
Among all the other plugins that we presented, SecSign is the only one that uses fingerprints as an option for authentication. Also, unlike other plugins on this list, with SecSign you won’t even use your WP credentials to enter the admin area. Instead, you can access your site with a personal SecSign ID.
With Keyy Two-Factor Authentication plugin, you can enter your WP site with the help of your mobile phone. You can access the site simply and instantly by scanning a code that’s provided through the app.
When you enter your regular WordPress area, you will be redirected to a custom Keyy login screen where you can continue the login process with a code or a key wave. (This also means that you won’t have access to your regular WP login screen as long as you have the plugin activated).
The WordFence plugin is completely free and helps you add 2FA to any WordPress site. Not only this, but you will get access to other WordPress security features, such as live traffic monitoring, security scanner and a WordPress firewall.
There are two methods that you can use for two-factor authentication in WordFence: Google Authenticator or an SMS.
If you want to have a plugin that will simultaneously perform other security functions other than 2FA (which means that you’ll be giving it more trust and responsibility as well), WordFence is a good choice.
Additional Security Measures
If you want to have the optimal support and keep your WordPress site safe from attacks, you need to make sure that you always have the latest version installed.
As an admin, you can set up strict WP password policies for all new users that sign up on your website (or you make accounts for them).
A WordPress firewall is another great way to add extra security to your website, but it only goes so far in preventing attacks. Simply setting up a firewall is, unfortunately, not enough to fend off most hacker attacks on WordPress sites.
The very thought of someone hacking your WordPress site is scary, but don’t worry, there are specific steps that you can do to prevent that from happening. The first line of defense would be to implement two-factor authentication on your WordPress login area.
The process of setting it up is really not hard or time-consuming, just install and activate a plugin and let it figure out the rest.