It's a good idea to reset your Gmail password regularly to keep your account secure, and you might be surprised how easy it is.
Although Google's database of usernames and passwords hasn't suffered any security breaches in recent years, it's still possible for crooks to get into your emails in other ways. One of the most common attacks is phishing, where a would-be criminal sets up a fake version of a legitimate login page, prompting you to enter your username and password. These pages can look very convincing, and if you think that you might have accidentally fallen for one, resetting your Gmail password (and getting a free password manager) should be your first course of action.
Your Gmail account could also be compromised if it uses the same password as any of your other online accounts. If any of the social media sites you use suffers a security breach and your login details are revealed, crooks might try using the same password to log into your other accounts. If any of your passwords are duplicates, take a moment to reset your Gmail password to keep your mail safe.
How to reset your Gmail password
Your Gmail password is the same as your Google account password. To reset it, log in, click your account icon in the top right-hand corner, then click the blue 'Google Account' button.
Your Google account settings will appear in a new tab. Select 'Personal Info' from the list on the left and you'll see details including your name, gender, birthday and profile photo (if you've uploaded one). You'll also be able to see when you last reset your password.
To reset your Gmail password, click 'Password' and enter your current password to verify your identity. You'll then be prompted to create a new password, and enter it twice. The password should be at least eight characters long, and not include anything obvious like your date of birth or partner's name. To check that you've typed what you intended, click the eye icon to unmask the characters.
Click the blue 'Change Password' button and you'll see a prompt asking whether you want to stay sighed into your Google account on any devices you own. If you uncheck any, you'll need to log into your account on them using your new password before you can check your emails.
Why reset your Gmail password?
Gmail provides a huge amount of storage space for your emails, so it's very rare that you'll ever need to delete anything. Handy if you need to find something you received years ago, but not so great if your account is compromised.
Your Gmail account is probably a treasure trove for personal and financial information, with nuggets of valuable data cached in your inbox, archived messages and sent folder. Bank account details, scanned passports and birth certificates, addresses and phone numbers – it's all there for the taking.
If you've any reason to suspect that your account details may have been published, or it's been a long time since you last updated them, reset your Gmail password as soon as possible to protect yourself.