By default, Google's mail interface named Gmail doesn't load up in SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) mode. Some people believe that loading up your email client through the SSL mode brings added to security, while others still argue that nothing is hacker-proof. Regardless, it won't hurt to make a few changes to increase your security and privacy when using Gmail. If you would like to change the default settings of Gmail to SSL mode, follow these steps.
Log in to your Gmail account. Since this is a setting you want to change on your personal Gmail account, you first need to be logged in. Go to http://www.google.com/ and click on the Gmail link at the top of the screen. This will take you to the Gmail login screen, where you will need to enter you Gmail username and password. (If you use Gmail often, consider adding the website to your ‘My Favorites' section on your browser. That way, you can just click on the link and you'll save yourself the hassle of having to type it all the time. Another option is to add a shortcut to the page to your desktop, but this may be too cluttered for you.)
Go to the settings page. At the top, right-hand corner of your Gmail screen, there is a ‘Settings' link. Click on this and it will take you to the page where you can change the SSL settings.
Use https. On the ‘General' tab, select the ‘always use https' option by making sure the circle is blackened. Changing this option is what is going to make your email program boot up in the Secured Sockets Layer mode.
Save your changes. Once you've changed Gmail to use https, make sure you save your changes. Now you're successfully made Gmail default to SSL mode.
Login again. You won't notice the new settings right away. Before Gmail will default to SSL mode, you'll need to log out of your current Gmail session and login again. This time, you should notice secure icon on your browser's status bar. For most, this will read, ‘mail.google.com', with a picture of a small yellow lock beside it. If you can't see this on your status bar, you might not have your status bar in view. Go to the ‘View' menu at the top of your browser and under the ‘Toolbars' link, make sure that ‘Status Bar' is checked.