Let’s talk security and why you should take advantage of Gmail’s recent SSL feature, and why you might want to be careful using other non-SSL webmail services.
But first, make sure your connection is secured using SSL.
How do you know a connection is secured by SSL? The handy “s” after “http” will tell you. For example, https://mail.google.com is encrypted while http://mail.google.com is not. You can force an encryption by adding the “s” yourself, or by turning on “Always use https” from the Browser Connection settings of your Gmail account.
It’s not just your email – changing your password gives access to your google docs, analytics, notes, etc… I’ve been forcing https with a firefox plugin for a while – but much better as a gmail setting, since it travels to other computers with me.