Email is one of the most common online communication platforms today. It is a common target for cybercriminals because it is a unique identifier that allows people to log in to different accounts. It might also contain sensitive and personal information that is gold for cyber attackers. For this reason, one must ensure that their cyber security efforts are heightened.
Securing your email starts with basic steps such as changing your Gmail password regularly and setting two-factor authentication. In this article, we focus on changing your Gmail password.
How to Change your Gmail Password on Desktop
Step 1: Log in to Gmail
Go to your preferred browser and log in to the Gmail account you want to change its password.
Step 2: Select Your Profile Picture on the Top Right of the Gmail Page
Click on your profile picture, which will open up a small menu.
Step 3: Click on Manage Your Google Account
Step 4: Select Security
On the new page, select Security. It is the fourth option on the list. It will take you to the security settings of your google account.
Step 5: Go to the Box Titled Sign in to Google and Select The Password Option.
On the security page, scroll down to the Sign in to Google box. It will be the third or second Box from the top. Go to the arrow just after the word password and select it.
Step 6: Google Will Prompt You to Sign in Again to Your Account
A sign-in page will pop up, and google will ask you to verify that it is you. You will enter your current password in the Box and Click Next.
If you don’t remember your password, choose Forgot Password option, and google will take you through a step-by-step process of resetting it.
Step 7: You Will Type in Your New Password and Confirm It
If the sign-in is successful, you will go to a change password page where you will be asked to type in your new password and confirm it below.
The password should be at least eight characters and not something obvious. Check below for tips on setting a strong password.
Step 8: Select Change Password
Once you are satisfied with the new password, click on Change Password.
This is the final step, and you have successfully changed your Gmail Password.
Click the video for a detailed walkthrough tutorial:
How to Change Gmail Password on Your Smartphone
Step 1: Open Your Gmail App
Go to your phone, find the Gmail App and tap on it. Make sure you are logged into the account you want to change the password.
Step 2: Tap on the Profile Photo of the Gmail Account
The Gmail profile photo or icon is in the top right corner. Tap on it, and it will open the Gmail accounts.
Step 3: Select Manage Your Google Account
Below the email, you want to change the password is an icon for Manage your Google Account. Tap on it, and it will open a new window with Google account settings.
Step 4: Scroll Left the Top Section and Choose Security
The top icons on the Google account settings page are Home, Personal Info, Data and privacy, Security, People and Sharing, Payments, and Subscriptions.
Step 5: On the Sign in to Google box, Tap on Password
Go to the Sign in to Google Box and click on password. It will take you to the Google account sign-in Page.
Step 6: Input Your Password, Then Tap Next
It will require you to enter your old password into the sign-in Box. Then click Next.
If you have forgotten your password, Click on Forgot Password, and Google will take you through a retrieval process.
Step 7: Input Your New Password and Confirm It.
On the Change Gmail password window, input your new password and confirm it.
Step 8: Click on Change Password
This final step will ensure you get a new password for your Gmail account.
When to Change Gmail Password
- After a security threat – once you know that there was a security threat or breach to your Gmail account, you should change your password.
- When you discover phishing attacks or malware – scan your computer and email for viruses or phishing links and scams. Once these are identified, change the password immediately before it is too late.
- After you log in to Gmail in a public place – If you log in to a computer in a public space such as a library, change your password to ensure you control your digital footprint.
- After sharing your login information with somebody else – Once you share your login information with somebody else, e.g., when setting up Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix account, change your password after you are no longer in contact with that person or immediately after sharing.
Importance of Changing Gmail Password
It locks out devices or people you don’t want to access your account. When you lose a phone or computer with saved logins to Gmail, these people or devices can access your Gmail. Changing the password will lock these out. It will also log you off from devices you forgot to sign out.
It reduces the risk of Cyber Attacks – cybercriminals always try to get access to email accounts through various means. When you are aware of such attempts, it is good to change your password to block your efforts.
Changing passwords also blocks access gained by Keystroke loggers. These are surveillance technologies used to record keystrokes and steal credit card information and login details. Changing the Password often will reduce the likelihood of them accessing your email.
What Happens After You Have Changed Your Gmail Password?
After you change your Gmail password, your Gmail account is sign-out out of all devices or places it was signed in. Therefore, you must sign in to these places with your new password. This policy applies to everything except:
- Devices that verify your sign-in
- Certain Third-party apps that you have given access to
- Home devices that had access to the account
Choosing a Password and Best Practices
Choose Long Passwords with Varied characters: Choose passwords with at least 12 characters to reduce the risk of hacking. Mix uppercase and lowercase letters, and insert symbols and numbers.
Audit your passwords regularly – avoid using the same password for multiple accounts or places. It will reduce the damage when hacked. Use words and numbers that are memorable to you and not obvious to others. Avoid using phone numbers, birth dates, and personally identifiable information.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©In Green/Shutterstock.com.