In this article, we want to be helpful with all WordPress users by listing the best GDPR WordPress plugins on the market.
The General Data Protection Regulation is a law in the European Union that took effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is a set of policies that gives EU citizens the right to data privacy and more control over their information. Violators can face fines up to four percent of the company’s annual global revenue or up to 20 million Euros, whichever is higher.
But how does GDPR apply to WordPress website owners? GDPR will affect you if you have visitors from the EU. It doesn’t matter where you host your site.
Fortunately, the fines are not automatically levied on your business if you do commit a violation. Non-compliance will first earn you a warning, a reprimand, and then a suspension of data processing. But if you continue to ignore GDPR rules, you might find yourself getting hit with large penalties.
What Do You Need to Do to Comply with GDPR?
In a nutshell, you need to protect your visitors’ personally identifiable data, which includes several pieces of information, such as:
- Online identifiers
- Health information
- Income and financial information
To be compliant, you must get your site visitors’ explicit consent to gather, store, and use their data. You should inform them, in clear language, that you will collect and use their information. It should be a positive opt-in where they tick the checkbox themselves or click a ‘yes’ button to agree. Data collection and usage permissions should be in a separate window or document, and not mixed in with other terms and conditions.
The document should also detail why, how, and where their personal data are going to be stored or processed. Users can also request a copy of any of their personal data your business or website has collected or ask you to delete their records, which you must comply with except in certain circumstances.
Should the unthinkable happen and your website is hacked, you should notify your users as well as relevant authorities within 72 hours. The only time you are not required to notify anyone is when the breach doesn’t affect user information.
You might also need to hire a data protection officer (DPO) if:
- Your business processes personal data so that you can deliver targeted ads
- Your business processes personal information that deals with healthcare
- Your business handles huge volumes of personal information
Public authorities or bodies are also required to hire a data protection officer. Some businesses opt to hire a data protection officer voluntarily, even if they’re not required to. However, keep in mind that if you voluntarily hire a DPO, the same requirements and responsibilities apply to the position as if it were mandatory.
The Tools You Can Use to Make Sure Your WordPress Site is GDPR Compliant
Fortunately, there are several useful tools and plugins that can help you ensure your website is GDPR-compliant. These tools can help you obtain visitors’ consent for data collection and usage, keep your website secure to meet your obligation to protect visitors’ sensitive data, and comply with user requests for deletion or copies of their personal data you’ve collected.
Because GDPR is primarily about security, plugins that can help you secure your WordPress site are valuable tools for your WordPress website.
1. WP Activity Log
WP Activity Log should be the first thing you install to ensure GDPR compliance. This plugin records all changes that happen to your WordPress site.
Having a log of all activities on your website will allow you to make security audits a whole lot easier. It can also help you spot security vulnerabilities before they become an issue. For instance, you can detect a brute force attack just by looking at a site’s activity log. With an activity log, you can keep a close eye on your website to identify security issues and suspicious online behavior.
WP Activity Log will help ensure accountability as it will show you if a certain task has not been performed by a team member. Moreover, if something goes wrong, troubleshooting is a breeze, because you can easily pinpoint the source of the issue.
An activity log also helps with the administrative aspects of GDPR, allowing you to easily trace where, when, and how data are saved. WP Activity Log documents when updates happen to a user, a post, or any object on your WP site. You’ll also know what was changed in a blog post, object, or user profile.
There are two versions of this plugin: Free and Premium. The free version keeps a log of:
- Changes to posts, pages, and custom posts, including changes in the URL, title, content, published status, and other similar changes.
- Changes in categories and tags, including recording when somebody creates, modifies, or deletes such tags and categories, as well as when someone removes them from a post.
- Changes to, creation, modification, or removal of widgets and menus.
- Registration, addition, and removal of users to different WP sites that you manage.
- Changes in user profiles, including e-mail, password, display names, and even changes in roles and permissions.
- Activities of users, such as the time and date of their logins, logouts, and failed logins.
- Termination of user sessions.
- Changes to the core installation of WordPress, such as its settings, including updates installed, default role, permalinks, and URL.
- Changes to other sites in a multisite network, including removal, addition, and archival of a site, and adding and deleting users from sites.
- Themes and plugins that were installed, deactivated, activated, uninstalled, or updated.
- Changes to database, including the removal or creation of tables done by a plugin.
- Changes made on popular plugins, such as WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, MainWP, and Advanced Custom Fields.
- Changes to WordPress files.
All of these changes are logged with the following information:
- Date and time of the event, right down to the milliseconds
- Which user made the change
- The permission or role of the user who changed something
- Source IP address
- And more
You get all that with the free plugin. Opting for the premium version, you can:
- See which users are online and what everyone is currently doing
- Terminate a user’s session with just one click
- Create reports in both HTML and CSV formats
- Export the logs in CSV formats
- Get e-mail notifications when a significant change happens
- Get SMS notifications for critical changes on the site
- Use text-based searches and filters to find log entries
- Export activity logs to some external database
- Import logs into the central log management or collaboration programs, such as Papertrail, Slack, or Syslog
- Set up log archives and mirrors
This plugin helps you secure your WordPress site with continuous malware checks, bot blockings, two-factor authentication, and spam blocking. Wordfence can scan your website for undetected backdoors and allows you to block traffic coming from certain countries or IP addresses. You also get notified via e-mail if there are potential security breaches.
The company claims that the plugin has already blocked more than 3.99 billion attacks. Other features include:
- Leaked Password Protection: You can now block logins using compromised passwords that could have been taken from previous data breaches.
- Live Traffic: Allows you to see activity on your WordPress site in real-time. Because you are able to see what’s currently happening, some of these might not even be reflected in other tools you have. You can monitor visitors and hackers as they are doing their thing, as well as their IP addresses.
- Advanced Manual Blocking: Uses pattern matching to block potentially malicious humans and robots. You can block an entire range of IP addresses, specific browsers, or visitors coming from certain referring websites.
- Country Blocking: Blocks traffic from other countries if they display patterns of malicious activity.
- Repair Files: If you’ve suffered a data breach or your website is hacked, you can use this to know what theme and plugin files were changed, as well as what parts of the WordPress core you’ll need to repair.
- Two-Factor Authentication: Helps you avoid falling victim to brute force attempts by implementing a more secure form of system authentication.
3. All in One WP Security & Firewall
All in One WP Security & Firewall can scan your site for weaknesses and security holes. It then suggests ways to prevent and plug these vulnerabilities. This plugin can also monitor user activity, automate and create backups, and even automatically delete any detected malware.
This plugin currently has more than 800,000 installations and is updated frequently. Other features include:
- Changes any user account with the default admin user name
- Detects any accounts that have the same login and display names
- Password strength tool to force users to use stronger passwords
- Login lockdown will lock out any IP address that makes too many login attempts and prevent brute force attacks
- Force logout of all users
- Automatically lock out an IP address range
- Add captcha to your login forms
- Opt for manual approvals of WordPress user accounts
- Add Honeypot to the user registration form to fight automated registration by robots
- Schedule automatic database backups, or easily create a backup with just one click
- Detect folders and files that have insecure permissions
- Monitor all host system logs from one place
- Easily backup your original .htaccess and wp-config.php files
- Blacklist users and agents
- Firewall features
- WordPress PingBack Vulnerability Protection feature
- Detect changes in any of the files to make sure that it was a legitimate change and not a data injection attempt
- Comment spam prevention feature
- Disable front-end text copying
GDPR also requires you to get your visitors’ consent once they enter your website if you plan to collect their personal data. Here are the tools that can help you with that.
4. ShareThis GDPR Compliance Tool
One of the hallmarks of GDPR policies is that you should get educated and clear consent from your visitors. This is what the ShareThis GDPR Compliance Tool helps you with.
This consent management platform makes it easy for you to ask for your visitors’ permission to collect, use, and store their data.
You can install the plugin with just three simple steps, including creating an account with ShareThis, getting the installation code, and then pasting it on your pages. What’s more, this plugin will allow you to communicate the user’s consent status to other vendors that are part of the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework.
The IAB is a cross-industry framework that assists technology vendors, content publishers, advertisers, and agencies in meeting the requirements of GDPR when it comes to user choice and transparency. This framework enables you to have the flexibility to follow laws while also allowing you to transfer a user’s consent to third-party vendors that you are working with.
The ShareThis GDPR Compliance Tool plugin is approved by IAB Europe, so you can instantly get greater control and more options with how you use gathered data from your site.
5. Consent Manager
The Consent Manager plugin allows you to easily gather consent from your site visitors. All you need to do is create an account, log in, and then set up the website that you want to add this functionality to. You’ll get a code that you will need to paste into your WordPress site.
The permissions are gathered automatically, and your advertisers will have access to the same consent data. This plugin conforms to the IAB framework.
What’s more, you also receive very detailed reports that will show you how your visitors are acting when it comes to giving consent. These reports show you how many users are giving consent and how you can get more of them to do the same.
6. UniConsent CMP for GDPR and CCPA (Cookie Consent)
The UniConsent CMP tool will help you become compliant with the consent rules as outlined by both GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. It follows the standards set by the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework. It also helps you implement the Google Ad Manager and AdSense Consent Guidance.
7. GDPR Cookie Compliance
The GDPR Cookie Compliance plugin, despite its name, does not only help you with European data privacy laws. It also helps you comply with several other international laws, such as:
- AAP, or the Australian Privacy Principles (Australia)
- CCPA, or the California Consumer Privacy Act (USA)
- CNIL, or the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés data privacy laws (France)
- DPA, or the Data Protection Act (UK)
- LGPD, or the Brazilian General Data Protection Act (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados – Brazil)
- PECR, or the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (UK)
- PIPEDA, or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada)
It gives your visitors full control of what happens with the cookies they’ve downloaded to their computers. It can even help them if they want to revoke consent they’ve given previously.
This plugin is very flexible, as you can change all the text that it displays. It is also fully customizable – you can add your own branding, colors, logos, and fonts.
GDPR Cookie Compliance ensures informed authorization, including having both reject and accept buttons. You can set your own expiration setting for the consent they give. You can also choose where you want to put the notification, as well as ensure that scripts are loaded depending on whether the visitor consents to having your cookies downloaded to their machines.
Other features include:
- Easy to use and eye-catching user interface
- Responsive design so the cookie consent banner is compatible on any device
- Sleek and well-designed animations
- Two layout options
Furthermore, this plugin produces pages that are in compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
GDPR Cookie Compliance also has a premium add-on that extends its functionalities, including:
- Updates for one year
- Accept on Scroll
- Allowing for a full-screen cookie consent banner
- Block users from seeing third-party content if they don’t accept cookies
- Consent logging and analytics, with local data storage
- Cookie declaration options that allow you to specify what cookies are used by your site
- Geo-location option, where the banner will be displayed only when the visitors are from certain countries
- Hide timer
- Import and export settings
- Multisite capabilities
- Premium shortcodes that allow visitors to manage the consent they gave
8. Complianz – GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent
What makes Complianz – GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent an excellent plugin is that it gives you more flexibility. You can show your visitors different versions of your cookie notice depending on where they are accessing your site.
For instance, you can use just one cookie notice for all users, or you can have one for the United States, another for Australia, and another for the European Union. You can also have cookie notices for countries with two different privacy laws, such as UK’s DPA and PECR.
GDPR also requires you to provide your users with a copy of data you have on them when they request it and to remove a users’ personal data when they request deletion. Thankfully, some plugins allow you to comply with these requirements with ease.
9. GDPR Data Request Form
The GDPR Data Request Form plugin allows site administrators to display a form that users can submit to request a copy of their data or to have it removed.
You can add a Gutenberg block or a widget to your site, or make use of the PHP function or shortcode if you want more flexibility in the form’s location.
When a site visitor submits the request form, the plugin will create an item in the Export/Erase personal data section of your dashboard’s tools. An e-mail will be sent to you so that you can validate the request.
If the user asks for their data to be deleted, the plugin will take care of it. If they ask for a copy of their information, they will receive an e-mail that contains a download link that is only available for three days.
10. Connectid Business
Connectid Business is a plugin that you can use on both WooCommerce and WordPress platforms. It can easily comply not only with GDPR, but also the California Consumer Privacy Act or CCPA.
This plugin makes it easy for you to comply with user requests for a copy of their information. You will be able to add a widget or block to your site, and the plugin will automatically extract the data requested once the request is verified.
Other things you can do with this tool:
- Automatically attach WooCommerce customer information
- Add files coming from other applications (if necessary)
- Conduct e-mail and SMS authentication for all data requests
- Get full reports on all requests you receive, and the actions taken
- Give your customers the data they requested using a commonly used format
11. The GDPR Framework By Data443
The GDPR Framework By Data443 comes from a data security and compliance company. If you’re grappling with the complex rules of GDPR, this tool is for you. This particular plugin helps you in handling data subject access requests. It allows your visitors to track, manage, and revoke consent. It also gives users a time frame to expressly give their consent, and it has “Do Not Sell” and Privacy Safe Seal features.
You can enable users who don’t have an account to view, download, or delete their personal information. You can even opt to have the plugin anonymize or delete data you collect or prompt the administrators to do it manually.
Other things you can do with this plugin include:
- Use wizard to make installation a breeze
- Developers can extend every feature and functionality this plugin has
With GDPR Framework By Data443, your website administrators won’t have to spend valuable time and effort dealing with data requests. You get reports on how many people asked for their data for download or removal, as well as the information they required and the request status.
What’s more, this plugin works with ClassiDocs, Woocommerce Version 3.4.0 and up, Easy Digital Download Version 2.6 and up, e-mail, and newsletters.
Overall GDPR Compliance
There are also plugins that help make sure that you are compliant with GDPR policies.
12. WP GDPR Compliance
The WP GDPR Compliance plugin helps site owners comply with GDPR. It adds a consent form that will give your visitors full control over their data.
You can also get consent logs for supported plugins, not just your site. It also gives you encrypted audit logs and double opt-in mail, as well as anonymizes user data to make you more compliant with GDPR rules.
The International Association of Privacy Professionals says that GDPR allows you to use personal data if it is no longer identifiable and traceable to a specific user. Anonymizing data will relax the rules for you.
13. Ninja GDPR Compliance for WordPress: GDPR, CCPA, DPA Full Compliance
NinjaTeam’s GDPR, CCPA, DPA Full Compliance plugin gives you everything you need to comply with various requirements of GDPR, as well as the requirements set forth by CCPA and DPA.
This plugin has the following useful features:
- Data breach notification: Inform your users if there are any data breaches
- Data rectification: Your visitors may request corrections to their stored data
- EU traffic: You can block people coming from the European Union states or display notifications only for visitors coming from the EU
- Forget me form: Allows your users to request for the deletion or removal of their stored data and then notifies your administrators
- Get their agreement to terms and conditions: Shows your visitors your terms and conditions page and asks for them to agree with these items
- Request Data Archive: Gathers data access requests and notifies administrators
This plugin allows you to create legal pages for your WordPress sites, such as:
- Affiliate disclaimer
- DMCA Policies
- Returns & refunds policy
- Terms and conditions
15. GDPR by Trew Knowledge
GDPR by Trew Knowledge supports a variety of compliance tasks. It has options and features that will help you manage consent, privacy preferences for cookies, and policy pages. It also has forms and features that are related to the user’s right to deletion and erasure, as well as anonymization of data and right to access features. You can also rely on this plugin for data breach notification logs and data portability needs.
GDPR by Trew Knowledge uses encrypted audit logs, secret token for two-factor decryption of data, and a telemetry tracker that can make it easier for you to visualize data on your site and plugins.
While WordPress already has features and functionality that allow you to handle many aspects of GDPR compliance, these 15 plugins can help make compliance easier.