You may wonder why you need an e-mail address, right? You’ve communicated with people all of your adult life just fine without one. But the truth is, if you want to stay connected to your kids when they head off to college, or keep in contact with family and friends, e-mail is by far the most efficient way to do it.
As you grow more comfortable visiting web sites, you’ll find that an e-mail address will come in handy for you. It’s important to have one if you’re registering on a web site, signing up for social networking, or banking online. Generally, any site that requires a login will almost always require an e-mail address, too. There are many e-mail services: Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc. Let’s use Google as an example to show you how to set up a free Gmail account and e-mail address.
Step 1: Open Google in your browser.
Open your web browser and 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.
Step 2: Sign up for a Gmail account.
Welcome to the Gmail sign-in page. Once you’re registered, this is where you’ll enter your username and password to access your e-mail. Begin setting up your new Gmail account by selecting “Create an account.”
Step 3: 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. However, if you’re going to be using it for any professional purposes (e-mailing your child’s school, job hunting, etc.), you may want to use your name or a variation of your name. Google allows you to check the availability of the name you choose; 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
Step 4: 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 e-mail 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.
Step 5: Use a security question to recover your password.
If you forget your password and you don’t have an alternate e-mail 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 as well. If you already have an account with another e-mail service, you can enter this in “Recovery email.” Google will send an e-mail to this account should you forget your password.
Step 6: 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.
Step 7: 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!
Step 8: Sign in to your account.
You can setup 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 e-mail with or without “@gmail.com” and the password you created to sign in to your account. Now you can send and receive e-mails, chat with other Gmail users and more!