Having an email address is the easiest way to have someone contact you without giving more personal information like an address or phone number. Not only that, but having an email address will also allow you to open up social media accounts, subscribe to newsletters from your favorite websites, and allow access to online job listings.
Having a Google account is a necessity if you use Chrome as your web browser and if you have a phone that primarily uses Google-based apps like the search engine and Google Play Music. Having a Google account will also give you access to Gmail, YouTube and Google Drive, Blogger,…which can let you create things such as word documents and spreadsheets.
Here are the quick, easy steps for creating a Gmail account. You can do these steps from a computer or from a mobile device.
Step 1: Open up your browser and type in “Google.com” in the address bar.
Step 2: Click the word “Gmail” on the top-right corner of the page. This will redirect you to Google’s “Sign in” page.
Step 3: Click on the box that says, “Create Account” in white font. You can click on the top right hand corner or at the center of the page.
Step 4: Enter your first and last name in the boxes marked “First” and “Last” under the heading “Name.” If you don’t feel comfortable using your real name, you can use a fake first and last name, but make sure you remember them. Write your alias down on a sticky note and keep the sticky note in a safe place.
Step 5: Create a username. It has to end with “@gmail.com.” Google will check to see if the username you typed in is available. If the username you created is not available, Google will offer some alternatives that you can choose to accept. If none of the alternatives work, look at the tips for creating a good username below.
Step 6: Create a password. Make sure that your password is at least eight letters or numbers long. You can also use characters such as exclamation marks or pound and dollar signs. The password will have to be re-entered to ensure the site that you’re human. See tips below for how to create a good password.
Step 7: Fill in Your Personal Information. Select your birthday, gender, and your country from the drop-down menus. The gender options are “Female,” “Male,” “Other,” and “Rather not Say.”
Step 8: Type in your mobile phone number. There’s also an option to select your country’s international code if your phone number is outside of the United States. There is a box marked “Your current email address.” If you don’t have an alternate email address, ask a trusted friend for theirs. These will be used to secure your account in case you forget your password.
Step 9: A white box explaining the Terms and Conditions will appear on the screen. Scroll down and click “I Agree.” If you’re using an international web browser, you might be asked to enter a Captcha. Captcha is usually not case sensitive; so keep your Caps Lock key off. If you mess up, click “New Code” or click the option for an audio Captcha.
Step 10: Click Next step. You may receive a phone verification request using a confirmation code sent via SMS or Voice call.
Tips for Account Creation and Security
After creating your Gmail account, you can customize how it looks by clicking on the gear icon in the top right hand corner. The drop-down menu has three options under “Display Mode,” four if you have a touch screen laptop or mobile device. “Touch-enabled,” “Comfortable,” “Cozy,” and “Compact.” You can also customize how your Gmail page looks by clicking on “Themes” from the gear drop-down menu.
Username: If you’re using this account for work or for job sites, use your first and last name. Example: email@example.com. If the email address is taken, use your birthday or an underscore. Example: firstname.lastname@example.org. If that doesn’t work, get creative, but never use your full name as it is written on your Social Security card. Creative options can include your initials and the title of your favorite author. Example: “MJLovesShakespeare.”
Password: When creating a password, use words and numbers that are easy to remember. Try the name of your favorite sports team and the jersey number of your favorite player. Example: YankeeJeter02. Write your username and password down on a sticky note and keep it in a safe place.
Other tips: Google doesn’t use security questions, so it’s very important that you remember your username and password or make sure that you stay signed in. Never use your social security number, your whole birthdate, or street address number for your username. It will make you open to identity theft. Remember that online, your safety takes priority.