Apart from “correct horse battery staple,” the most secure passwords aren’t words, they’re phrases. You don’t even need crazy symbols or hard-to-determine numerals (is that an l or a 1, a 0 or an O?) – just a good, longish phrase made out of words.
And now you don’t even have to make one up. Using the XKPasswd generator, based on but not associated with Randall Munroe’s amazing comic strip XKCD, you can generate secure pass phrases easily.
The idea behind Munroe’s comic is that pass phrases are easy for humans to remember and hard for computers to crack – the opposite of the kind of gibberish passwords we usually use.
And the idea behind XKPasswd is that pass phrases are fine, but sometimes you’re forced to add symbols and numbers. So you get a few options (password length limit, WPA2 Wi-Fi-compatible, digits and substitutions) to set before generating a pass phrase.
And that’s it. Of course, the whole point of pass phrases is that they’re easy to remember, but given the fact that this week you’ll be changing all of your passwords thanks to the Heartbleed security rupture, a little help is always welcome.