What are Security Keys in WordPress?

If you use WordPress and have read up on WordPress security, you should have come across the term “WordPress Security Keys” (Secret Keys). For WordPress beginners, we’ll go over the what, why, and how of WordPress Security Keys in this article.

What are Security Keys in WordPress?

WordPress Security Keys provide encryption for user cookies. These random variables are distributed randomly by WordPress. WordPress utilizes four security keys: 

  1. AUTH KEY
  2. SECURE AUTH KEY
  3. LOGGED IN KEY, and 
  4. NONCE KEY.

wp-config.php allows the user to define security keys at any time. It is not required for a user to include these keys at first installation in order to install or use WordPress. WordPress generates these keys automatically if a user can not provide them in their wp-config.php file.

What are the benefits of using WordPress Security Keys?

The security keys make cracking your password more difficult. A non-encrypted password like “username” or “WordPress” is easy to crack, but a randomized, unanticipated, encrypted password like “88a7da62429ba6ad3cb3c76a09641fc” can take years to figure out. To make your WordPress-powered blogs or websites more secure, you should employ WordPress Security keys.

Enabling Security Keys in Your WordPress Website

The first file you’ll need to get is wp-config.php. Your favorite FTP software or the file manager in cPanel can be used to accomplish this. In the root folder of your WordPress installation, you will find the wp-config.php file.

If you open the wp-config.php file with a text editor, scroll down until you see “Authentication Unique Keys”. They will resemble the following:

wp security keys format

All you have to do now is copy and update your unique keys in the wp-config.php file with your own which looks something like the below.

wp security keys

Once you’ve edited the wp-config.php file and changed the secret key information, upload it again into your WordPress root folder. WordPress has become a little safer.

Things to Remember While Using Security Keys

So far, there’s just one thing we need to remember: change the default Security Keys with random keys. Yes, it’s simple, but there are a few more considerations to make while configuring your keys:

Conclusion

We hope you have found a clear understanding of what are security keys and how are they important to be used in WordPress. Do not forget to reach out in case of further queries

Get more related articles on WordPress best practices, troubleshooting techniques, and other tips on our blog page, and to know about all WordPress terminologies and other basic definitions, visit our glossary page.

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