Beware: Harry Potter and the Deathly Virus

The virus has a sequel, too

It will probably be the biggest movie of the year.  Will it also be the biggest pain in the neck for surfers?

"Harry Potter" movies keep on coming, and so do the computer viruses linked to the movies, trying to lure fans into giving up their personal data. With online thieves getting more savvy by the sequel, this one promises to be up to more evil, Voldemort style.  Largely because the targets are young people, looking for scenes and gossip about their favorite Wizards and Muggles. 

According to San Francisco online security company PC Tools, this latest hacking has nothing to do with British newspapers and your phone, but rather thieves who let you find links to Potter stuff, then run you through a series of clicks and instructions, ultimately snagging your password.  Once they have your password, they have access to your personal information.

The sites look authentic, but they're not. Your data will be taken, and you won't even get a movie clip to enjoy with your virtual popcorn.

As always, there are ways to protect yourselves and your children - and they have nothing to do with magic wands or protective spells. The best advice? PC Tools says that while it's cool to surf the 'net for Potter clips, be extra careful before you click on them, especially if they're sent through your email.  Also, keep your computer's virus protection software up to date. 

Common sense may not be the biggest thing in Hollywood, or even at Hogwarts. But if you use it when you surf, you'll be able to keep up on all that "Potter" gossip - and keep your private data private at the same time.

Scott will see the Potter movie, and can be found on Twitter:   @scottbudman

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