Computer security is kind of my forte, so to speak. In the past, I was awarded as a Microsoft MVP 7 years in a row due to my volunteer work online in the area of consumer security. A tech guru I worked with for many years regularly deferred to me any time he received a question regarding any type of security from his community. I’m not telling you all of this to toot my own horn. I’m giving you a piece of my background so you will hopefully understand when I tell you….
YOU MUST REGULARLY USE STRONG PASSWORDS AND CHANGE THEM OFTEN!
Was that clear enough? More than ever before, it is crucial that you change those passwords and make them as secure as possible.
Think about it: you do your banking online. You manage credit cards online. You have one-tap enabled to pay using your phones because it is convenient. Where do you think all of the statements and notices for these things go? Right to your email. Let’s say someone is trying to hack into your bank account. They’ve already gained access to your Gmail because you wanted to use an easy password that you could remember but swore no one else would ever “guess.” (Hint: hackers do not guess passwords: they use machine algorithms to decipher them) Once they can access your email, they can reset your passwords to your bank account, all of your credit cards and so forth. Sound fun? I thought not!
Do I have you worried yet? You should be! However, all is not lost. It is not too late for you to secure all of your information by changing your passwords to something extremely secure, using a combination of random letters (both upper- and lower-case), numbers and special characters. Using a password generator can help, as can a program that stores them for you.
Now that we are all ready to change every password ever… let us focus on the most important one of all: your Gmail account. I highly suggest you not only create a super secure password for it, but also change it often. I personally change mine once every month, but many security experts recommend every three months. Do what you are comfortable with.
How to Change Your Gmail Password
Select the gear in the upper-right corner and scroll to select ”Settings”.
Now, click on the ”Accounts and Import” tab at the top.
At the very top, you will see the option to ”Change Password”. Go ahead and do so now!
That’s all there is to it! However, I do highly recommend that you consider turning on a few other security features in Gmail regarding your password. On that same page where you tapped ”Change Password,” the next option is ”Change Password Recovery Options”. Tap there and check out the various settings. You can turn on 2-factor authentication, add a recovery phone number (so Google will text you if someone attempts to change your password) and also a recovery email. Setting these things up takes less than a minute and is definitely worth your peace of mind.
Do you have any other Gmail, password or security questions for me? I’m happy to answer them any time that I can!