iThemes Security Pro Feature Spotlight – Away Mode

Oct 12, 2020 | Security - Internet, WordPress, and otherwise

In the Feature Spotlight posts, we will highlight a feature in the iThemes Security Pro plugin and share a bit about why we developed the feature, who the feature is for, and how to use the feature.

Today we will cover Away Mode, a cool feature to create “hours of operation” for your WordPress admin login.

In this article

Why Should I Use Away Mode?

Most of us start and stop are workdays at generally the same time every day. But, like most things online, our WordPress login is available 24 hrs a day.

So even though we aren’t going to be logging into our websites during our sleeping hours, hackers are still able to attempt their brute force attacks while we dream.

The WordPress login is the most attacked and potentially the most vulnerable part of any WordPress website. This is why it seems crazy that our WordPress login is active and open for business even when we aren’t.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could temporarily disable the WordPress logins during our off hours? Away mode provides a safe and easy way to lockdown your WordPress admin login during the hours you won’t be accessing it.

What is Away Mode?

The Away Mode feature in iThemes Security Pro allows you to set hours of operation for your WordPress login.

As we mentioned earlier, there are hours in the day that we know legitimate users won’t need access to our website’s backend. Away Mode allows us to disable access to the WordPress Dashboard for the specified period.

If an attacker tries to access your WP login while Away Mode is active, they will be redirected to your website’s homepage without ever having a chance to enter a username or password.

Note: While Away Mode can help secure your WordPress login during your off-hours, there are still other ways to login using XML-RPC and the REST API. That is why it is still essential to lock down your WordPress login with stronger security methods like two-factor authentication and strong passwords.

How to Set Up Away Mode in iThemes Security

To get started using Away Mode, enable the module on the main page of the security settings. Next, click the Configure Settings button to take a look at the Away Mode options.

ithemes-security-pro-feature-spotlight-away-mode iThemes Security Pro Feature Spotlight – Away Mode

Away Mode Schedule

The Away Mode module will display the time based on your WordPress timezone settings. If your the time displayed isn’t correct, be sure to update your website’ss time settings before creating an Away Mode schedule.

ithemes-security-pro-feature-spotlight-away-mode-1 iThemes Security Pro Feature Spotlight – Away Mode

You will find 3 settings to help you configure your Away Mode schedule.

  1. Type of Restriction – You can have the option to set Away Mode as a single occurrence or to repeat daily.
  2. Start Time – The time of day you want Away Mode to start.
  3. End Time – The time of day Away Mode should end.

If your work typically work from 8 AM – 5 PM every day, you can set Away Mode to run daily from at 7 PM and end at 6 AM to give yourself a bit of a buffer.

How to Access Your WordPress Admin dashboard when Away Mode is Active

There will be times that you need to access your WordPress admin dashboard outside of your normal work hours. Don’t worry, you have a couple of different options if you need to access your website while Away Mode is active.

Temporarily Disable iThemes Security Pro Settings

You can temporarily disable the iThemes Security Pro settings by adding the code below to your wp-config.php file above the /* That's all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */ line.

define('ITSEC_DISABLE_MODULES', true);
ithemes-security-pro-feature-spotlight-away-mode-2 iThemes Security Pro Feature Spotlight – Away Mode

Disable Away Mode with Sync Pro

The iThemes Security integration in Sync Pro allows you to remote disable or enable Away Mode from your Sync Pro dashboard.

ithemes-security-pro-feature-spotlight-away-mode-3 iThemes Security Pro Feature Spotlight – Away Mode

Wrapping Up: Strengthen WordPress Login Security with Away Mode

The WordPress login is the most attacked and potentially the most vulnerable part of any WordPress website. This is why it seems crazy that our WordPress login is active and open for business even during our off hours.

Away Mode adds a nice layer of protection by letting you set the hours of operations for your WordPress login. So your WordPress login will only be active when you are.

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