Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information (credit card, social security #s, etc.) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity through e-communication, usually e-mail.
This is Jackson, a college student. He is about to check his email after a hard day of studying.
Wells Fargo Banking Hello Jackson, Click on the link below to restore your online checking account. This must be done immediately. www.wellsfargo.com/clickme Sincerely, The Wells Fargo Team
When checking his email, he finds this particular message that seems to be from his bank. Wanting to restore his account, he clicks on the link.
After clicking the link, Jackson is prompted to enter his username, password, and credit card number. He assumes this is a new feature the bank has added to online checking.
When checking his account two days later, he notices several charges that he wasn't responsible for. He gets a call from a bank teller he knows, informing them he was a victim of a phishing attack.
Jackson then visits the bank and gets his account information reset and his money restored. He now knows that to stop phishing attacks, they should be prevented by never clicking on links to "bank" emails and by being careful with sensitive information.