‘Smishing’ is an emerging security threat to mobile phone users in which a phisher sends an SMS or other text message to you containing a malware-infested link. Sometimes the senders will ask for personal information, and that’s usually with the intent to rob you or commit identity theft (for example: applying for credit in your name).
The malware (otherwise known as malicious software) may cause damage to your phone and/or redistribute itself to your contacts, as viruses have historically done. Malware is a separate issue from phishing and ‘smishing’.
However, malware is sometimes used to collect sensitive information such as login credentials. Keyloggers do this by covertly recording keystrokes on your device (every time you press a key to enter a password on your device, that is a keystroke).
If you receive any e-mails asking for personal information, don’t reply to them. It’s most likely a phishing scam. No legitimate financial institution is going to ask for your social security number, credit card number, passwords (among similar pieces of information) via text message or e-mail.
There are a number of security tips that go a long way towards ensuring your security online. You can learn about the top ones in my mobile security article.