“Mac OS X has a very good mechanism for managing all kinds of passwords: the keychain. The system will offer to store pretty much all passwords in a ‘keychain’ for your account. With this, you can use as difficult a password as you want and the Mac takes care of remembering it. The keychain is encrypted with your account password as the encryption key. So it’s essential to choose a good and memorable password for your account, but that’s pretty much the only one you’ll have to actually remember,” Iljitsch van Beijnum reports for Ars Technica.
“Mac OS X has a built-in Password Assistant that can help you [create good passwords], but unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to find. In Applications/Utilities, you can find the Keychain Access tool. If you start that and then select “change password for keychain…” you are prompted to type your current and new keychain passwords. We don’t actually want to do that right now, but the password requester has an icon of a key. Click that. This will bring up the Password Assistant, which will create passwords of various types for you, and tell you how secure your password is with a colored bar. The longer and the greener the bar, the better your password,” van Beijnum reports.
Much more in the full article here.
More about Mac OS X security: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/security/