What, Why, and Hows of WordPress Security Keys

Do you would like to learn more about WordPress security keys and salts?

WordPress uses security keys to guard your website against hacking attempts. You should utilize them more efficiently to enhance WordPress security.

In this text, we’ll discuss what are WordPress security keys and salts and why it’s best to use them.

What are WordPress Security Keys and SALTs?

WordPress security keys are an encryption tool that protects login information by making it harder to decode.

These keys act similar to real keys and are used to lock and unlock encrypted information resembling passwords, keeping your WordPress site secure.

WordPress security keys diagram

Here is how it really works.

Principally, whenever you log in to a WordPress website, your information is stored in your computer in cookies. This lets you proceed working in your website without the necessity to log in on each page load.

All information is stored in encrypted form by converting it right into a string of alpha-numeric and special characters.

This encrypted data might be translated using WordPress security keys. Without the keys, this data is almost unattainable to crack.

These security keys are robotically generated by your WordPress site and stored in your WordPress configuration file (wp-config.php).

There are a complete of 4 security keys:

  • AUTH_KEY
  • SECURE_AUTH_KEY
  • LOGGED_IN_KEY
  • NONCE_KEY

Aside from WordPress security keys, you’ll also find the next SALTs.

  • AUTH_SALT
  • SECURE_AUTH_SALT
  • LOGGED_IN_SALT
  • NONCE_SALT

Salts add extra information to your encrypted info which provides one other layer of security to your encrypted data.

Why Use WordPress Security Keys?

WordPress security keys protect your website against hacking attempts by making your passwords secure.

For example, an everyday password with medium-level difficulty might be easily cracked using brute force attacks.

However, a password string like ‘7C17bd5b44d6c9c37c01468b20d89c35e576914c289f98685941accddf67bf32b49’ takes years to decrypt without knowing the safety keys.

That’s why it’s best to never share WordPress security keys with anyone and protect them as you’d normally protect sensitive information online.

That being said, let’s take a take a look at learn how to use WordPress security keys to maintain your WordPress site protected.

The way to Use WordPress Security Keys?

Normally, you don’t must do anything extra since typically WordPress will robotically generate and use security keys + salts on each latest WordPress install.

You’ll be able to view your WordPress security keys and salts by utilizing an FTP client or the File Manager app in your WordPress hosting account control panel.

Simply connect with your website, and open the wp-config.php file. Inside it, you’ll see your WordPress security keys defined.

Security keys WordPress configuration file

Nonetheless, depending on the way you initially installed WordPress, your website may not have security keys defined in any respect.

In case your security keys are empty, then don’t worry. You’ll be able to easily add them manually by going to the WordPress Security Key Generator page to generate a latest set of keys.

WordPress security key generator

Next, copy and paste these keys inside your wp-config.php file, and you might be done.

You should utilize the identical method to delete your current WordPress security keys and replace them with latest keys.

Note: Once you replace the safety keys, all users might be forced to re-login which is great for security.

Regenerate WordPress Security Keys using a Plugin

In case you suspect that your website is hacked, then you might want to regenerate WordPress security keys and alter your passwords.

You’ll be able to manually copy and paste latest security keys as mentioned above. Nonetheless, a much easier approach could be using a plugin. This manner you may as well set a schedule to robotically regenerate security keys often.

1. Update WordPress Security Keys using Sucuri

The best strategy to robotically regenerate WordPress security keys by utilizing Sucuri. It’s among the finest WordPress security plugins available on the market that protects your WordPress website against common threats.

Simply install and activate the Sucuri Security plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on learn how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you might want to visit the Sucuri Security » Settings page and switch to the Post-Hack tab.

Update security keys using Sucuri

From here, simply click on the Generate Latest Security Keys button under the ‘Update Secret Keys’ section.

Note: Regenerating latest security keys will log you out of the WordPress admin area and also you’ll must login again.

Regenerate security keys

After that, revisit theSucuri Security » Settings page and switch to the Post-Hack tab again.

Under the safety keys section, enable the Automatic Secret Keys Updater by selecting a frequency (day by day, weekly, monthly, yearly). Then click on the Submit button.

Automatically update security keys

Sucuri will now robotically reset your WordPress security keys based on the frequency you may have chosen.

2. Update WordPress Security Keys using Salt Shaker

This method is for users who will not be using Sucuri and want to automate security key regeneration.

First, you might want to install and activate the Salt Shaker plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on learn how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you might want to visit Tools » Salt Shaker page to configure plugin settings.

Update security keys with Salt Shaker

From here, you’ll be able to set a schedule to robotically generate security keys. You can even just click on the ‘Change now’ button to instantly regenerate security keys.

We hope this text helped you understand what are WordPress security keys and learn how to use them. It’s possible you’ll also need to see our guide on learn how to fix common WordPress errors, or see our expert pick of the should have WordPress plugins in your website.

In case you liked this text, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can even find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.