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Access keys are long-term credentials for an IAM user or the AWS account root user. You can use access keys to sign programmatic requests to the AWS CLI or AWS API (directly or using the AWS SDK). For more information, see Signing AWS API Requests in the Amazon Web Services General Reference.
Access keys consist of two parts: an access key ID (for example, AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE) and a secret access key (for example, wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY). Like a user name and password, you must use both the access key ID and secret access key together to authenticate your requests. Manage your access keys as securely as you do your user name and password.