What is phishing?
Phishing is an attempt to get you to hand over personal, confidential information to a criminal. The requests may seem legitimate and may be perpetrated by phone, email or via the internet.
The danger lies in the fact that these phishing attempts look legitimate, sometimes even carrying an official-looking logo. They con you into providing information to fraudsters that you would not normally give to anyone else.
Phishers use different methods to trick people, so it's wise to always be cautious. For example, you may get a phone call from a company saying that there is a virus on your computer and that you can pay them a fee to remove it and keep it clean thereafter.
More often, phishers use email as the route of attack. Phishers often use information that will make you take note of the email and react. They may say that your bank account or email account has been hacked and that you need to verify your details by sending them your username and password/PIN, or ask that you click on a link. Or they may try to fool you into thinking you're the latest millionaire in a sweepstake competition. You are then required to send them your banking details so that they can deposit the money into your bank account. These are common tell-tale signs of phishing attempts, so you need to be extra vigilant when you're asked to provide your personal information.
A legitimate company will never ask you to verify your account information, passwords, security questions, or other sensitive information. So if you receive a suspicious email, delete it immediately.