After creating the new user account your first impulse might be to assign ownership over the Apache installation to it. I see that often, but do not do it. For Apache to run on port 80, it must be started by the user root. Allowing any other account to have write access to the httpd binary would give that account privileges to execute anything as root.
This problem would occur, for example, if an attacker broke into the system. Working as the Apache user (httpd), he would be able to replace the httpd binary with something else and shut the web server down. The administrator, thinking the web server had crashed, would log in and attempt to start it again and would have fallen into the trap of executing a Trojan program.
That is why we make sure only root has write access:
Unless told otherwise, Apache will serve any file it can access. This is probably not what most people want; a configuration error could accidentally expose vital system files to anyone caring to look. To change this, we would deny access to the complete filesystem and then allow access to the document root only by placing the following directives in the httpd.conf configuration file:
<Directory /> Order Deny,Allow Deny from all </Directory> <Directory /var/www/htdocs> Order Allow,Deny Allow from all </Directory>