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'Make sure you have strong passwords' Vicky Phelan urges, after her Instagram account is hacked

The mother-of-two flew to the US last month for further treatment for cancer.

File photo. Vicky Phelan.
File photo. Vicky Phelan.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

ACTIVIST AND AUTHOR Vicky Phelan has had her Instagram account hacked, with the purported hacker telling her they would restore her access if she paid $3,500.

She has since set up a new Instagram account and urged people to take care when setting their online passwords.

The mother-of-two flew out to Maryland in the US last month as she takes part in a clinical trial aimed at helping prolong her life.

In November, Ms Phelan disclosed that she has developed a new tumour for the first time in over two years. A scan revealed a new 3mm tumour in her lung, in addition to growth in three separate tumours. 

She was given a terminal cancer diagnosis after previously receiving a false negative smear test result in 2018. 

Earlier this week, she began her treatment on the trial and thanked everyone who had sent their support.

Last night, Ms Phelan explained that her Instagram account had been hacked and that she had set up a new account. 

She also shared a message she’d received, purportedly from the person who hacked the account.

The hacker told her that it wasn’t possible to restore her account and that they may use her account “maliciously”.

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She later tweeted advice to her followers that they should check their social media accounts and ensure they have strong and different passwords, along with two-factor authentication.

Ms Phelan’s advice here is sound and there are a few rules of thumb when it comes to online passwords to make them as safe as possible. 

They include: making sure it’s at least eight characters long (the longer the better), not sticking to one password for multiple things, don’t email or share passwords and using a password manager. 

About the author:

Sean Murray

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