How to open a new Gmail account
Having a Gmail account has several perks. It allows you to set up social media accounts, gain access to online video games, send and receive messages, among others. Even though there are several email account providers, such as MSN, outlook, hot mail, etc. the most popular among all these is still Gmail. Once you have set up your Gmail, you will be able to set up Google calendar, Google docs, Google play store, and other Google services.
Setting up a Gmail account is very straightforward. All you will need is a computer or smartphone, internet connection, and a phone number. In this article, we will show you how to set up your email, 2-factor verification, tell-tale signs of a hacked Gmail account, and how to recover it.
How to set up a Gmail account
We will show you how to do this, with a lot of details that will make it easier for you to understand.
- Open your web browser
You can use any web browser you want. Input www.google.com into the search box then press ‘enter’.
- Locate the sign-up button
On the new page that opens, you will see ‘sign in’ at the upper right corner of the page. Tap on it. A new page will appear with an empty field box. Look at the bottom of the page you will see ‘create account’. Tap on it.
It will bring two options ‘for myself’ and ‘manage my business.’ If it is a personal Gmail account you need, pick the first one, and pick the latter if you are opening the account for your business.
- Input your information
The sign-up form will appear with directions. Follow the directions provided. You will need to input your first name and last name. You will also need to create a username, and if you want, you can use your real name or a nickname. The username you pick will be the name of your Gmail account, so pick something you like and can remember.
You will be asked to create a password and verify it. Make sure you choose a password you can remember, and the password has to have 8 or more characters with a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. I will recommend you take your time when creating a password so that you can create one that is hard to guess, and make sure you make use of symbols. When you are done, tap on ‘next.’
- Verify your phone number
If Google doesn’t automatically detect the country you are trying to register from, tap on the small icon on the left corner of the empty field. A list of countries will appear, then input the one you are from.
Now enter your phone number. Make sure the phone number you input is correct because Google will send a 6-digit verification code to that phone number. Google does this verification for security purposes. Normally Google will send the verification code as a text message, but there is a button at the bottom of the screen ‘call instead.’ If you tap on it, Google is going to call you and read out the verification code. Make sure you have a pen and paper with you for writing down the code.
Whatever method you use to receive the verification code, just input the code into the empty space on the page. Tap on ‘next’.
- Setup recovery
A form will appear for you to input some information you will use to recover your account if you ever lose it.
- Review Google’s terms and conditions
When reviewing the terms and conditions, if you find anything you do not agree with, forfeit the registration process. However, if you are okay with it, tap on ‘I agree’ at the bottom right corner of the page.
Your Gmail account is ready. Apart from receiving inboxes and sending messages through your Gmail account, you can use it to set up accounts on social media, e-commerce websites, and so on.
Now that your account is ready, Google will automatically log you into your account. If the device you used in setting up the account is still the same device you want to use in operating your Gmail, then there is no need to log out. If you are sharing the device with someone, it is very important that you sign out so the other person(s) won’t be able to access your account.
How to enable Google 2-Step Verification
Enabling the 2-step verification, or 2-step authenticator has most prefer to call it, helps in protecting your Gmail from unauthorized users. It will protect your account through your password and your phone. It is an extra layer of security.
How this works is very simple. Whenever you are trying to sign in to your Gmail account, you will be sent a code after you input your password. The code will be sent to your phone as a text message, voice call or to the Gmail mobile app if you have installed it on your phone. If you have a security key, you can plug it into the USB port of your computer, that is if you’re using a computer.
Some things likely to make your account stolen
- Downloading of software from the internet. It is advisable to only download from trusted websites. And don’t click on random links because you can be hacked when you click on them. Even if the link is sent to your email, if it looks untrustworthy, delete it immediately.
- Using the same password on more than one website
- Get started
Click on this link to set up the 2-step verification. When the page opens, you can read the information on the page if you want to. When you are done, scroll down and tap on ‘Get Started.’ Read the information on the next page that opens if you want to. Scroll down and tap on ‘Get Started’ again.
- Verify it is your account
If you aren’t signed in to your account already, you will have to first sign in. A ‘sign in’ button will appear on the bottom of the page. Input your Gmail address in the empty box and tap on ‘NEXT’ at the bottom of the screen.
Input your password so Google can ascertain you own the account. If you are already signed in, this is the page that will appear on your screen after you tap on ‘Get Started.’
- Receive a verification code
If Google doesn’t recognize your device, you will be asked to verify it via a text or a call. Choose the option you want.
- Input the code
After you input the code, tap on ‘next.’ Follow the instructions until you get to the end of it all. When you are done, your account is now protected with two layers of security. When next you are logging in, after you input your password, you will receive a verification code via text or a phone call. Then input the code so you can access your Gmail account. If you aren’t the one trying to log in, the verification code is what will alert you so you can take preventive measures that Google offers.
There are other ways to protect your Gmail account from being hacked – remove harmful software, make use of password alert, install a more secure browser.
How to find out if my Gmail account has been hacked
Your Gmail might be hacked without your knowledge. They might be accessing your info without you knowing and harvesting sensitive ones, yet everything will seem normal to you. However, there are a couple of things you can do to know if your account has been hacked or not.
- Check your sent mails and drafts
If your email is hacked, the hacker might be using your account to spread phishing campaigns of theirs. So they may be sending messages to your contacts with the hope that they will find such emails believable, since it is from an account they know.
What you will do is to go to your sent emails and drafts. Check the recipient and when the mail was sent. If you didn’t send these emails, then that is a red flag. Also, check the messages. If you can’t remember sending these messages or certain they couldn’t have been sent by you, another red flag.
- Check for messages about a change of password
When an email is compromised, hackers see this as a golden ticket. They will try to gain access to accounts you set up with your Gmail.
If you have a lot of mails, go to your Gmail search box and input password reset, password changed successfully, and password verification. Check the messages carefully so you can ascertain if you were the one who requested the change of password, and make a note of the time and date so you can differentiate it from the older change of passwords you might have done.
- Check for read emails
If you don’t have a lot of emails and don’t mark your emails as read without opening them, this might help you in knowing if your account has been hacked. While the hacker is rummaging for sensitive information, there is a high chance they would have read messages you haven’t yet read.
To know unread messages, they are usually bolded. If you notice a message you haven’t yet opened isn’t bolded, this is a red flag. Check all the messages so as to ascertain that they don’t contain sensitive information that could put you in jeopardy.
- Check your trash
To erase suspicion, the hacker might try to delete some emails, especially those related to change of passwords, mails of their phishing campaign, and so on. You might find files you won’t normally trash in your mail, you might find messages you are certain you couldn’t have composed, or files you were certain you didn’t see in your inbox. Whichever one it is, the next step is to secure your account.
- Check login activities
Gmail allows you to check login activity. It will be sent to you as an email. The log in activity can contain an IP address, location, browser type, and device. If it doesn’t show any of these, you should check the time and date. If you are certain you didn’t log in at that specified time and date, then your account might have been hacked.
How to secure a hacked Gmail account
The most important thing to do is to reset your password so you can lock the hacker out. To be able to reset your password, you should still have the phone number you used during the registration, because that is what will be used in verifying that you own the account. If you have set up a recovery mail, you can use that instead when resetting your password.
If your account has been hacked and you recovered it back, you need to take precautions. Make sure y it is you set up Google 2-step verification. We showed you earlier how and why you should set up 2-step verification. It serves as an extra layer of security so that when a hacker is trying to hack into your account, the extra layer of security will prevent them from gaining access.
If your account has been hacked and you are locked out, because your account information has already been changed, such as your password or phone number, or somebody deleted your account. You will need to visit Google’s recovery page and you will be asked some questions, make sure you answer them correctly.
Opening a new Gmail account is not as hard as it seems. Google always offers instructions as well, so you will be able to follow through seamlessly. Besides, the information on how to find out if your account has been hacked and how to recover it is something you should take seriously. Email addresses are required by lots of platforms nowadays, so it is easy to access private information if hackers should ask your Gmail.