If a machine can have 269,000+ password attacks in 24 days, some of them are going to be successful if you have weak passwords… and right now, it’s pretty hard to come up with a unique password that isn’t based upon something in a password-cracking dictionary or three. I’ve trained myself to memorize things like “%9mR/z45&c74p”, but that’s an unreasonable expectation for average people. You used to be able to get away with simple character substitution (like, “1am4h4x0r” or “1l1k3d0g$”) but simple character substitutions are now included in those dictionaries that come with common hacking tools.
Of course, you want a password you can remember, so you either need to start training yourself to remember oddball strings of characters, or you need to outsource your password memorization to… well, to the computer. It’s good at remembering things, after all.
I recommend choosing a utility like PasswordSafe. Generate a nice long goofy password by mashing on your keyboard, and save it in a PasswordSafe. “JW#Za!K#tewijz.Q$” may be hard to remember, but it’s probably not in a hacker dictionary somewhere.
At least, not until some spider crawls across this blog post…