AWS, Cloud Computing

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Best Practices for Beginner to Create a Secure AWS Account


As more and more businesses move their operations to the cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become one of the most popular cloud platforms. However, with great power comes great responsibility.

Securing your AWS account is crucial, and setting up your account correctly is essential to ensure its efficiency and security.

This blog will provide a step-by-step process for creating a secure and efficient personal AWS account in 2023 and discuss best practices for first-time users.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1 – Sign up for an AWS Account

The first step is to sign up for an AWS account. You can visit the AWS website.

Here are the steps to open an AWS account:

  1. Go to the AWS website ( and click the “Create an AWS Account” button.
  2. Enter your email address and choose a password.
  3. Provide your contact information and payment details. AWS requires a valid credit card to create an account, but you won’t be charged until you use their services.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to verify your identity and agree to the terms of service.

Step 2 – Login as a Root User & Secure (MFA) Root User

Once you have created your AWS account, you will be automatically logged in as the root user. The root user is the most powerful in your account and can access all AWS resources. It’s essential to secure the root user account to prevent unauthorized access. One of the best ways to secure the root user account is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). With MFA enabled, you must enter an authentication code generated by your mobile device or hardware token each time you log in.

To enable MFA, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the IAM console
  2. Click on “Users” on the left-hand menu
  3. Click on the root user’s name to view their details
  4. Click on the “Security credentials” tab
  5. Click on “Edit” in the “Multi-factor authentication” section
  6. Follow the instructions to enable MFA


Step 3 – Create an Admin User with Required Permissions

It’s best practice to create an administrative user account for day-to-day use. This way, you can limit access to your root user account and assign specific permissions to your administrative user account.


To create an administrative user account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the IAM console
  2. Click on “Users” on the left-hand menu
  3. Click on the “Add user” button
  4. Enter the username and select “Programmatic access” and “AWS Management Console access.”
  5. Click on the “Next: Permissions” button
  6. On the “Set permissions” page, select “Attach existing policies directly.”
  7. Check the box next to “AdministratorAccess”
  8. Click on the “Next: Tags” button
  9. Add tags if needed and click “Next: Review”
  10. Review the details and click “Create user.”

Step 4 – Setup Account Alias

AWS account alias is a unique identifier you can use to sign in to your account instead of your account ID. An account alias makes it easier to remember your AWS account login URL, and it’s also a best practice for security. To set up an account alias, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the AWS Management Console
  2. Click on your account name at the top right corner
  3. Click on “My Account”
  4. In the “Account Alias” section, click on “Edit”
  5. Enter a new account alias and click “Save changes”

Step 5 – Change Payment Currency Preference

By default, AWS will bill you in US dollars. If you prefer to pay in your local currency, you can change your payment currency preference in the Billing and Cost Management console. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Billing and Cost Management console
  2. Click on “Preferences” on the left-hand menu
  3. Under “Currency”, select your preferred currency from the drop-down menu
  4. Click on “Save preferences”

Step 6 – Update Security Challenge Questions

Security challenge questions are an extra layer of security that helps protect your AWS account. When you log in from an unknown device or location, you will be prompted to answer these questions to verify your identity. To update your security challenge questions, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the IAM console
  2. Click on “Security Status” on the dashboard
  3. Click on “Edit” in the “Account recovery settings” section
  4. Follow the prompts to update your security challenge questions

Step 7 – Setup Default Region/Language

When you create an AWS account, setting up your default region and language is important. The default region is where your AWS resources will be created by default. To set up your default region and language, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the AWS Management Console
  2. Click on your account name at the top right corner
  3. Click on “My Account”
  4. In the “AWS Management Console language” section, select your preferred language from the drop-down menu
  5. In the “Default resource region” section, select your preferred region from the drop-down menu
  6. Click on “Save changes”

Step 8 – Setting up the AWS CLI

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is a tool that allows you to interact with AWS services using commands in your terminal or command prompt. Setting up the AWS CLI is straightforward and an essential tool for managing your AWS resources. To set up the AWS CLI, follow these steps:

  1. Install the AWS CLI on your computer using the appropriate installer for your operating system
  2. Open your terminal or command prompt
  3. Run the “aws configure” command
  4. Follow the prompts to enter your AWS access key, secret access key, default region, and output format

Step 9 – Billing Alerts/Alarm

Monitoring your AWS billing and usage is essential to prevent unexpected charges. You can set up billing alerts to notify you when your bill reaches a certain threshold or specific usage patterns occur. To set up billing alerts, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Billing and Cost Management console
  2. Click on “Budgets” on the left-hand menu
  3. Click on “Create a budget”
  4. Follow the prompts to set up your budget and billing alert

Step 10 – Best Practices & Recommendations

Here are some best practices and recommendations for managing your AWS account:

  • Use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control access to your AWS resources
  • Use strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users in your AWS account
  • Enable AWS CloudTrail to log all API calls made to your account
  • Use AWS Config to monitor your AWS resources and ensure compliance with industry standards
  • Regularly review and rotate your AWS access keys and secret access keys
  • Use AWS Trusted Advisor to optimize your AWS resources and save costs
  • Enable AWS GuardDuty to detect potential security threats in your AWS account

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Creating a secure and efficient personal AWS account requires careful planning and configuration. Following the steps and best practices outlined in this blog, you can ensure your AWS account is secure and optimized for your needs. Remember to monitor your account regularly and implement updates and changes as necessary to maintain security and compliance with industry standards. With a well-managed AWS account, you can take full advantage of the cloud services offered by AWS, whether you’re a college student or a professional. Start with these best practices and continue to learn and improve your AWS skills over time.

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About CloudThat

CloudThat is an official AWS (Amazon Web Services) Advanced Consulting Partner and Training partner and Microsoft Gold Partner, helping people develop knowledge of the cloud and help their businesses aim for higher goals using best in industry cloud computing practices and expertise. We are on a mission to build a robust cloud computing ecosystem by disseminating knowledge on technological intricacies within the cloud space. Our blogs, webinars, case studies, and white papers enable all the stakeholders in the cloud computing sphere.

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1. What is AWS, and why should I create an account?

ANS: – AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of services for building and managing applications and infrastructure. By creating an AWS account, you can leverage these services to host websites, store data, run applications, and more, all within a secure and scalable environment.

2. What is AWS CloudTrail, and why is it important?

ANS: – AWS CloudTrail is a service that enables you to monitor and log all API activity within your AWS account. It records important events like user activity, resource changes, and API calls from various AWS services. CloudTrail helps with auditing, compliance, and security analysis, allowing you to detect unauthorized access and troubleshoot operational issues.

3. Can I use my existing AWS account for multiple projects or applications?

ANS: – Yes, you can use your existing AWS account for multiple projects or applications. It is recommended to utilize AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles to assign specific permissions to different services and applications within your account. This way, you can ensure the separation of resources and restrict access based on the principle of least privilege.

WRITTEN BY Navneet Nirmal Toppo

Navneet is a Research Associate at CloudThat. He is a Microsoft Certified Solution Professional and a Certified Network Security Specialist and who has experience in AWS, Azure, GCP & vSphere. He is passionate about cloud computing, cybersecurity, and learning new cloud-native technologies who strives to provide the best cloud experience to clients through transparency.



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