Use 2 Factor Authentication to Keep Websites & Social Media Safe from Hackers

By on Jul 24, 2015 in Security, Social Media, Wordpress | 0 comments

There are techniques to provide additional security to a social media account or website. Two factor authentication adds another layer of security to help prevent a hacking. 2FA is another step when logging in, but is worth the inconvenience to be safer on the Internet.

Social Media Safety via 2 Factor Authentication

Two factor authentication is provided by almost all social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It can be easily enabled on WordPress websites too. On social media sites the 2FA setting is normally in the account settings or privacy area. For example on Twitter it can be found here in Settings:

Twitter login 2 Factor Authentication setting

This post from Twitter explains their additional verification method –

Social media sites use SMS messages as the means to convey the additional layer of security via a text message sent directly to a mobile phone associated with social media account. However, there is an easier way to get temporary, 2 factor authentication pin codes to access sites with 2FA running. Google has an app for that, and it is Google Authenticator. It acts as a tool to store 2FA accounts in one place and generates unique codes for those accounts every 60 seconds. If you are like me, then having a cool app to handle security helps to take the inconvenience-element out of the equation… or at least makes the 2nd login step a bit more fun and perceived less as a time suck and more as a cool way to login and be safer on the Internet. Google Authenticator will make life easier, and a bit cooler. This is what it looks like in the Google Play store:

Google Authenticator 2 Factor Authentication Google Authenticator takes the text message aspect out of the process and replaces it with an app that has a list of all sites that currently have 2FA setup for logging in. In order to use GAuth, 2FA has to be setup and configured to use the authentication tool on each individual site, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress websites, etc. This can normally be done in the Settings or Privacy area of the account. If the spot to configure 2FA isn’t easily found, then contact Harvester Solutions and we will be happy to assist.

2FA Options for WordPress websites

Speaking of WordPress websites and 2FA, there are many options to enable Two Factor Authentication. We have used two options in the past on WordPress sites that we’ve developed and manage. The first is the Two Factor Auth plugin and it provides a lightweight means to implement 2FA when logging into the WP dashboard. If the user account is setup on the WordPress website to use 2FA, then that user will be prompted to enter a unique 6 digit code before getting access to the WP dashboard. The Google Authenticator app is used to generate the unique code every 60 seconds. The plugin is super easy to install and configure. Setting up 2FA to be used on a WordPress website can be up and running in less than 10 minutes.

Another 2FA method that has more functionality and a good cool-factor is Clef. This is another WordPress app that complements traditional login/password combos by generating a unique visual code that is read by the Clef app on a mobile phone. It can also be configured to not use a login and password combo at all, but solely rely on the Clef mobile app for logging into the website.

Here are a few more examples of 2FA plugins in the WordPress repository:

The one consistent aspect of two factor authentication is that it almost always requires a smart phone (iPhone, Android device, etc.), but some methods will work with a mobile phone that only has text capabilities (no Internet access). Be sure to fully research the additional login technique/method to ensure that it is compatible with all users accessing the website or social media site. Using a method that is the least intrusive to the regular routine of the user and accompanying that with good user training on how & why to use 2FA is KEY to effective website security. After all, it is about keeping the website or social media site safe from hackers and all-the-while making access convenient to users.

Please feel free to contact Harvester Solutions with any questions about 2 Factor Authentication. We are happy to assist with recommendations and set up services for website and social media security.

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