An email address is important for a number of reasons. Whether your family members are looking for a job, signing up for social networking, connecting with family and friends or banking online, any site with a login will almost always require an email address. There are many free email services. Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL are just a few. For the purposes of this article we’ll look at setting up a free Gmail account.
Open Google in your web browser
Open your Firefox web browser. On a PC, find this in the “Start” menu. On a Mac, it may be located in the row of icons at the bottom of your display. Type www.google.com into the search bar. Once Google loads you’ll see several options at the top of the page, including Web, News, Images and Gmail. Click on Gmail.
Sign up for a Gmail account
Welcome to the Gmail sign in page. Once you’re registered this is where you’ll enter your user name and password to access your email. Begin setting up your new Gmail account by selecting “Create an account.”
Provide your user information
To get started, Google will need some information about you. Enter your first and last name in the fields provided and then create a login name. Your login name can be anything you want, but if you’re going to be using it for any professional purposes (like job search or emailing your child’s school) you may want to use your name or a variation of your name. Google allows you to check availability too. You may need to add numbers, a period or your middle initial if your login is already taken.
Example: Google suggests, if your name is John Smith, you might use John.Smith or JSmith.
Create a password for your account
Now that you have a login name, you need to create a secure password (see How to Create a Strong Password). This will ensure that your account isn’t accessed by anyone else. This is an important step. If you sign up for email alerts from your bank you want to make sure that no one else can see this private information. The password strength meter next to it will let you know if your password is strong enough.
Use a Security question to recover your password
If you forget your password and you don’t have an alternate email account, Google will ask you for the answer to your security question. Make sure the question and answer you choose are easy to remember. If you don’t think you’ll remember any of the provided questions, you can write your own.
If you already have an account with another email service you can enter this in “Recovery Email,” Google will send an email to this account if you forget your password.
Complete the sign up form
Set your location and enter your birth date in the fields provided. Finally, Word Verification lets Google know you’re really a human. Type the characters exactly as you see them into the box. If you can’t see the characters clearly, use the ‘handicapped’ icon and a voice will say the words you need to enter.
Finish by accepting Google’s terms
Read Google’s terms of service and make sure you agree with them. If you agree, click on “I accept. Create my account.” Welcome to Gmail!
Sign in to your account
You can set up Gmail so that it remembers your username and password for you, or you can enter it each time you want to log in. At the sign in screen enter your new email with or without “gmail.com” and the password you created to sign in to your account. Now you can send and receive emails, chat with other Gmail users and more!