Published on January 5th, 2014 | by adminbill


Amazon AWS

A cloud computing platform that lets users benefit from many web services including data storage, server hosting, advertising on Amazon and receiving payments from items they sell online.

Into the Amazon

Signing up for an Amazon AWS account is easy and best of all, free. You can use the standard Amazon account that many people use when purchasing items from their website, or else create a dedicated account for extra security.

The password policy on AWS is exactly the same as the Amazon e-shopping website. On the registration page you are required to fill in a form with the usual details (username, email, etc.) and then choose a password. The password has to be at least six characters long and Amazon does not screen for password complexity, nor blacklists common ones. You can learn more about choosing a strong password on the Amazon support pages.

Safeguarding your data

Amazon has taken great care to make its AWS cloud services very safe for users. It has a number of built-in security features like secure HTTPS access which encrypts any data you share and also has integrated firewalls to control who accesses data on the cloud.

Two-step authentication is another feature you can use to protect your AWS account. Whenever you sign in to AWS, you’ll be prompted to type in an authentication code which you can get from an AWS Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) device. This devices comes in two versions:

  • Virtual MFA device: a program you install on your smartphone, tablet or computer and which generates a time-limited code you can use to access your account.
  • Hardware MFA device: a keychain-like device which is sold by Amazon at a one time-cost of $12.99 and which creates a unique code whenever it is switched on.

Security Settings on AWS

Amazon AWS shares the same range of security settings you have available on your regular Amazon shopping account. After logging in to your account, click on the ‘Your Account’ button on the top-right of the screen to be taken to the account settings page. This page is divided into a number of sections, one of which is called ‘Settings’. On the ‘Settings’ page you can configure the security settings of your account, including changing your password, email address or your mobile phone number. On the ‘Payment’ page you can modify payment and credit card details.

Amazon collects all the data that is  entered by the user on its website and also collects and analyses data such as: IP addresses, usernames, email address, password and information related to the type of device and connection used to log in. In its privacy policy, Amazon states that this information is only used to help it provide services and that the data will never be sold or rented to third parties.

Deleting your account

Unfortunately, Amazon makes it difficult for users to delete their account since they have to make a request for their data to be removed to Amazon’s customer service. If you want to remove your Amazon AWS account, contact Amazon’s customer service through this form. Select ‘Something else’ in step 1; choose ‘Account settings’ from the drop-down menu in step 2 and ‘Close my account’ in the issue details menu that appears. Finally, click ‘Send us an email’ in step 3. Amazon will then process your request.

Hacking reports on AWS

Amazon’s AWS servers have been in the news a couple of times in relation to hacking attacks and suspicious behaviour going on in its cloud environment. Since users can use AWS with their regular Amazon shopping account, if hackers get their hands on the latter they will also be able to access AWS. For this reason it may be safer to create two separate accounts for these different services that Amazon provides.

Third parties integration on AWS

There aren’t many third party applications that integrate with an Amazon AWS account. In its policy notice, Amazon states that it cannot be indemnified for claims brought against third parties that use its service and requires users to do their own research before trusting other websites or merchants.

Tracking your information

At present there are no tools that allow Amazon AWS users to find out how secure their information is.

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