We can't avoid them and it is increasingly becoming more important to make them work well for you, so here are two articles that claim to do just that:
How to make passwords work better for you (or alternatively, everything you needed to know about passwords but were afraid to ask):
I fully agree with the author's complaint about websites not telling you beforehand what their password requirements are. I've lost count of the times when I've made up a great and very secure password, only to be forced to downgrade it (reducing the range of characters and/or password length) to meet the site's password rules...
Also from ZDnet, how to secure your computer and online accounts in 10 simple steps:
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Photo: The microwave tower through which my fixed line phone calls get to me, photographed at sunset