WordPress Users and Security
As businesses grow, the number of people required to get the job done grows too. The more users your WordPress website has, however, the higher the security risk. Managing your WordPress users to maintain security can be complicated as your business grows, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips and pointers for better WordPress security through user management.
Understand User Roles
When a new user signs onto your website, they are restricted to the lowest tier of user privilege. However, you can give new users more control and access through administrative controls on your site. To understand user privilege, you should first understand the tier of user roles and their access on your site.
Subscriber is the lowest user role, allowing users a “read only” privilege for content consumption.
Contributors can submit blog posts to the site, but cannot publish them on their own.
Authors can both submit and publish their own articles.
Editors can submit, publish, and edit all articles written and posted to the site by any user.
Administrator is the most privileged role, which allows access to change all aspects of the WordPress website, including posts, themes, and plugins.
The Principle of Least Privilege
One of the strongest security changes you can make for your WordPress site is by managing user privileges. It sounds easy enough; just restrict users to “subscriber” and be done with it, right? But what about coworkers and employees? Site managers and content creators? You can streamline workflow by giving employees and coworkers higher privileges, but they should never receive more administrative power than they need to get their job done. After giving a user or employee more authority to complete a task, revoke that authority when the job is done. This is the principle of least privilege.
Delete Unnecessary Users
One-time or temporary users can still create security problems for your WordPress site. If you don’t disable or delete old user and contributor accounts, those accounts can then be used to gain access when it’s no longer necessary, or even safe. Fewer users means fewer people and less activity you have to manage, and fewer security risks that come along with those individuals.
Through the use of certain security plugins, you can create temporary user profiles. With these, you can set administrative rights and monitor activity so you can manage workflow. Set an expiration date for login credentials or the entire account and maintain security without having to manually manage or delete accounts yourself.
Monitor User Activity
With more users comes more activity. There’s no guarantee that all activity on your WordPress site isn’t malicious, or at least suspicious. There’s where an activity monitoring plugin comes in. With audit logs, you can easily monitor every action, including edits, uploads, and plugin installations that your users make. Some activity logs even mark suspicious activity for referral so you can easily see which accounts are doing what.
Better PassWord Security — Without Passwords
Many security tips tell users to create strong passwords with symbols, numbers, and capitals all in random order. The truth is that complex passwords are hard to remember, and written passwords can be easily lost or stolen. Simple, memorable passwords can be hacked in just a few hours. Passwords are the biggest security risk on the web, and your users’ weak passwords are a huge security risk to your WordPress website.
TraitWare’s passwordless authentication approach offers login security by eliminating the use of passwords altogether. With the TraitWare WordPress plugin, you’ll strengthen your WordPress user security.