Phishing is when bad actors use an email to trick people into providing sensitive information such passwords, account numbers, PINs, credit/debit card numbers, or social security numbers.  The email often includes attempts to trigger emotions such as a sense of urgency with a link to click or an attachment to open.

Vishing is the same basic concept of phishing but when the bad actor tries the scam over the phone.
Smishing is like a phishing or vishing scam but attempted using a text messaging service.


Whether it is phishing, vishing, or smishing, you should be careful and remember these:

  • Your information is valuable even if you don’t think so.
  • Slow down and think before you hand over information.
  • If you did not initiate the call, then be suspicious. We will never call you and ask for your sensitive information.

Other general security tips:

  • Use strong passphrases rather than simple passwords.
  • Use a different password for each account you have.
  • Use 2-factor authentication for any account that uses the internet.
  • Use online banking to monitor your bank accounts for unexpected or fraudulent transactions and report them as soon as possible.
  • Make regular backups of your important files and test restore periodically to make sure the backups will work when you need them.