I’ve liked to think my password is pretty strong. It has a good mix of symbols, lowercase letters, capital letters, and numbers. However, you’ve probably already picked up on the biggest problem: like most, I have one password I use for everything. XKCD has a great explanation of why this is a problem. For example, If I’d had an account with Gawker when its servers were compromised last month, I might have been in trouble. For all I know, I already am in trouble from a different site I use having been hacked.
For the new year, no more! My new year’s resolution is to use only unique passwords for all my different accounts online.
To not go crazy trying to remember everything, I’ll be using one stem password that is easy for me to remember (but quite strong on its own) and adding a different suffix related to the site for each account (as Gina Trapani advises). That way I can keep a list of the suffixes (separate from my computer, in a locked place) which could not be used on its own to access my accounts.
For more info on making secure passwords, try Lifehacker’s article “How to Update Your Insecure Passwords and Make Them Easy to Use” or Wikipedia’s page of Guidelines for Strong Passwords.