Two-factor authentication (TFA/2FA) has become more of an obligation rather than a luxury if we consider the privacy issues that crop up every now and then. We’ll discuss 2FA related to WordPress as it powers 30% of the web. You might also be running a site on this platform.
Approach any Reputed WordPress development company in the market and it will advise you to set up such systems for enhanced security. These companies do it by using specific tools or plugins.
You will get a sneak peek into the best tools to add a 2FA system to the WordPress site. But before that, let’s understand…
What is Two-Factor Authentication?
We generally protect our confidential stuff with passwords, which can be easily broken by brute force attacks. Technically, two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to your passwords. Popular brands such as Facebook, Gmail, PayPal, etc. are already using it to keep security breaches at a minimum value and protect user information from cyber thieves.
So how does 2FA work? The simplest example is to enter a captcha along with your user credentials. Or some websites might ask you to identify a pattern before you login. The basic principle is that you have to provide your identity proof (virtually) apart from the user credentials and then proceed further.
If asked for a PIN code instead of a pattern or captcha, you can receive it in the following ways:
- Email: The code is sent to your registered email address.
- SMS: You will get the code on your mobile phone.
- App Generated Codes: Apps like Google Authenticator will automatically generate new code at short time intervals. You will have to enter the latest code when logging in.
- USB Tokens: Insert a token into your USB port and enter a token password. That’s it. It’s safe as there is no way in which the authentication can be intercepted.
You will need internet connectivity in the first two methods whereas the last two are independent of connectivity.
Now I will share some of the best two-factor authentication WordPress plugins that will fortify your login page. These are easy to configure and come with adequate installation instructions and documentation.
Developed by MiniOrange, you can use the plugin to secure your WordPress login page without shelling out any money.
Google Authenticator is easy to set up and use and comes with many advanced features that will keep hackers at bay.
The features are a slick user interface, multi-language support, a variety of authentication methods, TOTP + HOTP support, brute force attack prevention, IP blocking, custom security questions, support for multiple WordPress form plugins, GDPR compatibility and a massive list of extra premium features.
Most WordPress plugins are not easy to use even though they come with detailed documentation. But GatewayAPI makes the cut.
Gateway API will help you to send SMS’s right from your WordPress admin area. What more can you ask for?
Other features of this plugin are as follows:
- Capability to add custom data to SMS
- Import recipient list from CSV file
- Bulk sending feature
- Recipient segmentation or grouping
- Easy to use
- Reauthorize at each login or remember devices for 30 days
- Ability to receive and read incoming messages via your phone number
You will also find a step-by-step guide, full of screenshots, on their site. You can use it to install the plugin successfully.
Two-Factor WordPress plugin is free to use and this open-source project is led jointly by George Stephanis along with nine other plugin contributors.
After installing the plugin, navigate to Users > Your Profile and you will find the Two-Factor Options section. This option will help you to enable and configure your two-factor authentication options.
The plugin supports four authentication methods. You can send codes to an email address, enable time-based One-Time Password (TOTP), multi-lingual support (15 languages), FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F), and backup verification codes.
You also get a dummy method that can be used for testing purposes. Moreover, you can actively contribute to the project and follow the progress on Github.
WordPress 2-Step Verification
This one is easy to set up and use, and you will be done with the configuration in less than 10 minutes.
WordPress 2-Step Verification has amazing features such as SMS verification, email codes, multisite support, app-generated codes, and backup codes.
If you lose your phone or verification code, you can use the easy recovery feature via FTP. You can also deactivate 2-step verification on trusted devices like your personal computer.
The plugin developers offer an Authenticator App on the Play Store. It provides you with passwords for apps that don’t support 2-step verification.
Putting it all together
You have finally found the list of best plugins to set up 2FA on your WordPress site. Pick any one of them to start offering increased security to your website users. Refer to user guides and documentation in case you are stuck at any stage. Good luck!
Bharat Patel, who heads the Digital Marketing Team at Brainvire Infotech, is armed with over 12 years of experience in the fields of online marketing and project management. He is extremely proactive in implementing the latest technological innovations in his projects. Bharat’s core expertise lies in search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and conversion rate optimization, among other things. His immense flare of writing encourages him to consistently pen down words revolving around current trends and innovations that relate to his fields of interest.