June 08, 2012, 5:27 PM — If you're ever silly enough to ask, security gurus will tell you the best password you can choose would be one you can't remember, never write down and, preferably, never knew in the first place.
This is a joke, mostly.
It's true passwords that are easy for you to remember are easier for others to crack, by trying your birthday, children's names or other personal information, or by brute-forcing every word in the dictionary and letter in the alphabet into different combinations until they find one that works.
The closer your password is to a real word (misspelled, or obscured by adding a few numbers or symbols), the less time they would take to decrypt.
Of course, they could look for a username that sounds like you in the list of 8 million LinkedIn and EHarmony logins and then just use the password published there, or the ones posted following the hack of 77 million user accounts at Sony or the 130 million credit-card accounts taken from the clearinghouse that processes your credit card payments, or tens of thousands lost by a New York electric utility or the California government services agency you thought was unquestionably trustworthy or the 24 million emails and user names swiped from Zappos or almost anywhere else.
When they stop emulating social interactivity and humor, what security gurus usually say, other than 'stay off the computer,' is that you should not only figure out how to create a really secure password, you should use a different highly secure password at every site you use.
That way, no matter what web-site login database is breached next, your loss can be limited to only the information (or money) on that one site, which is likely to compensate you to avoid even more lawsuits.
The problem is that creating and remembering even one really secure password is such a pain almost no one does it.
Fortunately the same computer technology that makes it possible to crack your weak passwords can also create really strong ones and then keep track of them for you.
You just have to take the trouble to hit the app, web site or install a web extension and then click Create Secure Password in the right window when it's time to create a secure password.