lifehacker article on password security:
Pay particular attention to the difference between using only lowercase characters and using all possible characters (uppercase, lowercase, and special characters — like @#$%^&*). Adding just one capital letter and one asterisk would change the processing time for an 8 character password from 2.4 days to 2.1 centuries.
bottom line: to be safe create strong passwords (i.e. all & min. 12 characters) and use 1password to store them.