Protect your accounts now

Passwords are 1 level of protection

Diane of Style Falcon patterns

Tuesday 21 March 2023: Diane of Style Falcon patterns is here to pass on some easy ways to keep both your online accounts and those of your family and friends safe.


January 2023: Sigrid sews and knits and you may have been following her blog for many years.

In 2022 Sigrid’s Instagram account was copied as a fake account by scammers. This has happened and keeps happening to many SewOver50 followers.

There was a spate of fake Instagram accounts that were created prior to the holiday season in 2022.

In today’s podcast Sigrid talks through what happened to her on Instagram and how the SewOver50 community helped her reach out to Instagram to have the fake account removed.

Sigrid’s sewing friends met in October 2022 and worked on her skirt pattern

Be aware that fake accounts are created and the criminals behind these accounts prey on the followers of these accounts. If you are approached by what seems to be a fake account, let the actual person know and then report the fake account to Instagram and then block it, for your safety and for the safety of your sewing friends.

When reporting fake accounts on Instagram, if the fake account uses your name/handle/photos, this is a copyright infringement. Report the fake account for copyright infringement to Instagram as well as the fake account as a scam.

What you may find that the fake account will change the photos and the avatar used as Instagram is working on investigating the reported account. Keep reporting any fake accounts to Instagram if the account continues to exists for over a week and take screen shots of the changed made to the fake account so you can let your followers know about the fake account.

An action to always take is to let your followers know there is a fake account and to also change your password.

Sigrid has lovely sewing friends as you’ll hear in this podcast.

You can follow Sigrid on her Blog on Pinterest on Etsy and on Instagram.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3635.jpg
Lou is sewmuchtodesign

Tuesday 14 June 2022: Lou Sheffer of sewmuchtodesign discusses the recent Instagram ploy where she almost lost her Instagram account on today’s SewOver50 podcast.

Lou shares her experience and learnings when her Instagram account was hacked

You know Lou of Sewmuchtodesign because she’s a SewOver50 follower and the organiser of #MyMakesForTheMonth Challenge.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3636.jpg
Lou is now able to focus on more gorgeous makes.

In this podcast Lou shares her recent experience where her Instagram account was hacked and the good news is, she was able to get her account back with help from SewOver50’s Sandy and Judith. Lou also shares handy tips about keeping your account safe that she’s learned through this upsetting experience. 

Lou shares her experience and some ways to protect your instagram account when she was faced with a message to say ‘you’ve been logged out’. She describes how you can navigate your way through Instagram to reclaim your Instagram account from online theft.

Do you have a public and a private Instagram account?

If your Instagram account keeps saying ‘you’ve been logged out’ gather your wits about you and follow the series of Instagram prompts to help you claim back your account.

You’ll hear how Sandy from SewOver50 helped Lou navigate her way through Instagram to claim back her account.

Having a ‘back up’ Instagram account helped Lou contact SewOver50 for assistance. Lou now has back up codes and two factor authentication for her accounts.

Make sure you check the contact details listed in your Instagram accounts are your email and phone numbers listed.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3634.jpg
Lou has generously shared her learnings in claiming back her Instagram account

When you receive communication about your Instagram account, it will come from Meta, the company that runs Facebook and Instagram.

Once you are provided with a verification code from Meta, take it one step at a time and you may have to try a few times to get into your account. Stay calm.

Lou then talks about the verification codes and the actions she took to make her Instagram account more secure. Lou also uses WhatsApp for account verification rather than verification through her mobile/cell phone number.

Helpful tips from Lou include sending voice memos to your friends or asking specific questions only they would know when you’ve trying to help them through an online problem verifies that you are who you say you are. No one can imitate you.

Go with your gut if you feel that someone who’s contacting you is not the real person you know.

Go into settings and into your login and see what is in your account as well as the location that your account has been logged into.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_3637.jpg

CyberWire Daily recently published a podcast discussing an Instagram hijacking scam that you should listen to. Marcelle Lee, a Senior Security Researcher and Emerging Threats Lead at Secureworks talks to Dave Bittner the security podcast host and one of the founders at CyberWire about this ongoing scam.

Here’s a link to the transcript of this podcast.

Tuesday 16 November 2021: With the ways our online accounts are being compromised from time to time, we’re developing a series of podcasts that cover ways to keep your accounts safe.

Protect your accounts

Can you help? If you’re able to help develop these podcasts, email us today.

A few tips to stay safe

6 tips about strong passwords from NAB website


Short and simple passwords might be easy for you to remember, but unfortunately are also easier for cyber criminals to crack.

Strong passwords have a minimum of 10 characters and a use mix of:

  • uppercase and lowercase letters
  • numbers
  • special characters like !, &, and *.

Use passphrases

Criminals can perform a ‘brute force’ attack, in which a computer program cycles through every possible combination of characters to guess a password. These automated attempts at guessing passwords are not slowed down by numbers or capital letters, but depend on how long a password is.

That’s why using a passphrase is more secure, and easier to remember than using a password. A passphrase is used in just the same way as a password, but is much longer.

A passphrase is collection of words that is meaningful to you, but not to someone else. For example: cloudhandwashjump is 17 characters long.

Depending on the systems you access, you may be limited to a defined number of characters.


Could someone who knows you guess your passwords? It’s best to avoid using personal information such as your children, partner or pets name, favourite football team or date of birth as your password, as they can be easy for others to guess.

When trying to hack into an online account, cyber criminals start with start with commonly found words and number combinations.

Here are some things to avoid using:

  • dictionary words
  • a keyboard pattern like qwerty
  • repeated characters like zzzz
  • personal information like your date of birth or driver’s licence number.

If you need to reset a password, don’t just change one part of it. Instead of changing a number at the beginning or end, create something completely new you’ve never used before.

Get into the practice of changing your password often, ideally every few months.


Never share your password with someone, not even with someone you trust.

What about family and friends?

Regardless of whom you share it with, once you share your passwords you lose control of how it’s stored or how and when it’s used.

What if a business or company I know asks for my password?

Reputable companies won’t ask you to give them your password over the phone or via emails or SMS messages. This might be a warning sign of phishing or a scam.

Your bank will never ask you for your password or PIN; either by email, SMS, over the phone or at their branch.


Using different passwords means that if one of your accounts is breached, criminals won’t have access to other accounts that use the same password.

If a criminal has access to several of your online accounts, they may use that to impersonate you to your online friends, or businesses you deal with.


Writing them down is never recommended. You could lose them, or someone else could see them and use them.

What if I have too many passwords to remember?

There are programs and apps known as Password Safes that will store all your passwords in a secure vault.

A Password Safe only needs one strong password to access it, and has extremely strong protection to make sure that only you can access it. This means you only need to remember one strong password to have access to all your passwords. Password Safes even generate new, long passwords for you when you create new online accounts.

Don’t allow web browsers to store your banking password.

Some web browsers may display a pop-up message, asking whether you want the browser to remember your login details. Make sure you select ‘Never for this site’ when using bank internet sites.

Stay safe by protecting your passwords.

People can find more information on their banking websites about how to protect your accounts and your identity.

Don’t let anyone coerce you to pay a fine or a bill with gift cards. Government agencies do not accept gift cards as payments. This is a confidence scam.

Lock patterns

On Android phones users can add an “unlock pattern” to protect their phone.

It’s much like a password that you enter to unlock the phone. Instead of entering numbers or letters you instead draw a pattern across nine little circles (pads, as I like to call them). Its advantage is that there are far more possibilities than a typical 4-digit pass code. It’s also quick to enter these patterns.


If you think one of your online accounts (e.g. your bank account, email, online shopping account or social networking site) has been compromised, you should change your password immediately. Most reputable websites provide step-by-step instructions for how you can recover a hacked account. Advice copied from Scamwatch.


While we’re sourcing experts in these areas, here are some online resources to help you along the way. An easy place to start is via eSafety Commissioner’s website with their eSafety guide.


Here’s a link to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Q&A on Scams and Identity theft. This information about phishing will help you figure out when you’re being scammed.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

open file

Change your online passwords

If you think your computer or device has been hacked or infected with malware or ransomware, use your security software to run a virus check if you think your computer has been compromised.

Australian Cyber Security Centre

The Australian Cyber Security Centre website has some practical ways you can protect yourself online.

Arts Law of Australia resources

The Arts Law of Australia recently published helpful information this month. As the the Arts Law of Australia states, ‘October is Cyber Security Awareness month. A good time to be reminded of our cyber security needs, especially as we’re all receiving more and more fake emails and texts to track deliveries, take up marketing offers and what not.  Cyber scams such as ransomware are on the rise with hackers gaining control of your data and demanding ransom before returning it to you.’ Go to their Cyber Security Awareness page for more details.

They’ve published some useful factsheets on topics like copyright, unauthorised use of your image, legal issues for bloggers, copyright infringement, takedown notice regarding copyright, social media for artists, filming with a smartphone, that include copyright laws.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.