How to Limit Login Attempts on Your WordPress Site (Step-by-Step Guide)
WordPress is a secure platform to build your website but hackers still find ways to break in. One of the most common paths they take is brute force hacking, so you will need to know how to limit login attempts in WordPress site.
Did you know that the default WordPress settings allows its users unlimited login attempts? If you forgot your password, you can try as many times as you like. So, hackers exploit this and attempt various combinations of usernames and passwords until they guess the right one.
You can prevent this by limiting the number of WordPress login attempts. If the person exceeds the number of allowed login attempts, they will be locked out of their account. They will have to use the ‘Forgot Password’ option to regain access.
We’ll show you how you can implement this feature on your WordPress site in a few simple steps and protect your WordPress site from hackers.
How to Limit Login Attempts on WordPress
You can change the default settings and limit login attempts on your WordPress site manually or using a plugin. The manual requires you to insert code into your functions.php file. We don’t recommend it because a slight mistake can break your website. Instead, you can implement limited logins easily with a WordPress plugin. In this guide to WordPress Limited Login Attempts, we’ll show you how to do this in three simple steps:
Step 1: Get Limit Login Attempts Plugins
Access BlogVault and enter your details to get started. Here’s why we recommend BlogVault.
You need to fill in your email address and enter a password. Agree to the terms of service and you can ‘Get Started!’
Step 2: Install the Plugin on your WordPress Site
Next, enter your WordPress website’s URL and install the plugin on your site.
You can choose to auto-install BlogVault by entering your WordPress admin username and password. Don’t worry, BlogVault doesn’t store your credentials.
You can also install the security plugin directly on your site from the WordPress Dashboard under Plugins > Add New. Search for ‘BlogVault’ and install it.
Step 3: Enable Site Security & Firewall
The plugin will sync with your site and take a backup immediately. It will also scan your website to make sure it’s malware-free! Once done, you can access the BlogVault dashboard.
Here, you can change the plugin settings to enable security and the firewall. Login protection is now automatically enabled on your website. That’s it! There is nothing more required.
What Can Happen If you Don’t Limit Login Attempts on WordPress?
Hackers are constantly on the prowl to break into vulnerable WordPress sites. In fact, there are more attacks on WordPress than any other website platform. These malicious users have a number of tricks up their sleeves, but one of the common ways they gain access to your site is through brute force attacks.
What is Brute Forcing?
Brute forcing is an old hacking technique but is still predominantly used by hackers across the globe. According to the eSentire 2017 report, brute force attacks saw an increase of 400%.
In a brute-forcing attack, your website’s login page is the target. Hackers like to break in through this page because they can gain complete control of your site from this point.
Earlier, hackers targeted sites and tried brute-forcing each site individually by trying commonly used credentials. For example, admin and password123 are one of the most commonly used usernames and passwords.
If this is your login credentials, there’s a good chance a hacker could access your site in their first attempt.
However, in this day and age, WordPress users are more conscious and tend to use stronger passwords. But at the same time, hackers have also developed their skills. They create bots to try thousands of combinations of usernames and passwords in a few seconds. Hackers can attempt millions of combinations in a few minutes without much effort from their side.
By gaining access, hackers use your website to run all sorts of scams and malicious acts.
The Impact of a Hacked Website
In a brute force attack, hackers take full control of your website. The effects of such a hack can be devastating. Hackers wreak havoc for the website owner and its visitors. A few of the things they do are:
- Sell illegal products under your name.
- Sell counterfeit or duplicate products.
- Trick visitors into downloading malware that will infect their computer.
- Redirect your visitors to malicious websites.
- Use your site to launch bigger attacks on big brands.
Once a hacker injects malware into your site, Google will detect it and blacklist your website. Your WordPress hosting provider will suspend your account as well. A brute force attack can do severe damage to your business and your reputation. To avoid such repercussions, it’s best to secure your WordPress site with Login Protection.
How Does BlogVault’s Login Protection Work?
With BlogVault’s login protection enabled on your site, if you or anyone else makes three wrong attempts on the login page, they would be locked out of their account. BlogVault will display this warning:
This prevents brute force attacks. To unblock yourself, you need to click on the link provided. BlogVault will redirect you to a captcha page, like so:
Once you check the box, and verify that you are human, you’ll be directed back to your WordPress admin login page. You can choose the ‘Lost Password’ option to set a new password and regain access to your account.
The captcha protection is designed in such a way that bots cannot pass the test. Once a hacker or bot is blocked after three attempts on your WordPress site, they will move on to their next target.
Why Choose BlogVault to Limit WordPress Login Attempts?
There are many plugins available that will enable you to implement the feature of Limited Login Attempts on your website. But we recommend using BlogVault simply because only Login Protection isn’t enough.
Brute forcing is only one of the attacks your website is exposed to. Hackers run all sorts of WordPress attacks such as cross-site scripting and remote code executions. BlogVault gives you rock-solid user login protection and much more. Let’s take a deeper look at what the plugin provides:
As already discussed, this security feature is automatically enabled on your website when you activate the BlogVault plugin. If a user makes three wrong attempts, they are locked out of their account. Sufficient security measures such as captcha and the lost password option ensure hackers cannot enter.
It puts up a robust WordPress firewall that will proactively block traffic that is known to be malicious. Specific IP addresses that have a history of hacking activity won’t be able to visit your site let alone attack your login page.
The firewall also monitors activities on your website and if it detects any suspicious behavior, it alerts you immediately.
The plugin will regularly scan your site every day. If a hacker finds a way to inject malware into your site, the plugin will find it when it scans your site. So you’ll be promptly alerted and you can fix it immediately.
You can change the frequency of the scans if you wish. You can also request for a scan on demand anytime you want if you suspect a hack.
The scanner was built over two years after analyzing over 200,000 websites. It can sniff out any kind of malware – hidden or disguised, new or old, complex or simple. Also, it can do this because it doesn’t try to identify that looks malicious. It analyses the behavior of the code and checks what kind of activities and operations it’s carrying out.
Often, the origin of attacks on your site is concentrated in particular areas. With BlogVault, you can see which countries these attacks are coming from.
Take for example, you cater to the United States, but you see attacks originating in Russia, China, and the UK. If you don’t need traffic from these countries, you can simply block all IP addresses originating in these countries from the BlogVault dashboard.
This mitigates the risk of attacks on your WordPress site.
If you’ve run a WordPress site long enough, you’d know how troublesome updates can be. They occur too frequently and sometimes can cause your site to malfunction. But if your website hasn’t been updated for a while, it brings huge security risks. Outdated software can have security gaps and loopholes that hackers exploit.
BlogVault allows you to backup and update your site directly from its dashboard. You can roll out updates to your websites all at once. If updates pose problems for you and you tend to put them off for long periods of time, refer to our guide on How to Safely Update WordPress.
Lastly, touching upon what BlogVault is really all about, it backs up your entire site automatically. This is extremely important because if something were to go wrong with your site, you need to be able to restore it back.
If a hacker gains access to your site, they can ruin your website and display their own content. To get your site back to normal, you can restore your backup in a few minutes. This prompt solution ensures you don’t lose traffic, customers, and revenue. You can then take any amount of time to find the vulnerability that caused the hack and fix it.
We’re confident that you’ve protected your WordPress site from brute force attacks. While login protection is an important step towards security, it’s best to get an all-round solution that will take care of your entire website.
While you can trust that the developers of WordPress have taken ample security measures to make the platform safe, hackers still find ways to hack WordPress sites. The most common cause if hacks are plugins for WordPress. Nearly, 56% of hacks are caused due to vulnerable plugins.
What’s more important to note is that no WordPress site – big or small – is immune to brute force attacks. Hackers aren’t biased when it comes to the type of site they hack. They can utilize any site for their malicious activities regardless of their size, popularity, audience, and purpose.
As a site owner, you need to take security matters into your own hands. We recommend keeping a reliable backup and security solution active on your website. With round-the-clock protection, you’ll never have to worry about your website’s security.
Secure and Backup your website with BlogVault!
Melinda is a WordPress enthusiast, and enjoys sharing their experience with fellow enthusiasts. On the MalCare blog, Melinda distils the wisdom gained from building plugins to solve security issues that admins face.