My bank sent me a reminder that they will never call me, email me, or text me and ask me for my user ID and password.


I can only hope that I wouldn’t have complied with a request for my information had my bank not reminded me. It wouldn’t be the first time I had my information stolen. I once had my Venmo account hacked due to a similar scheme. Venmo is an online money-transferring app that connects to your bank account to send funds to your friends and family. My information was stolen through the very same cyber-attack that my bank was describing in their email: phishing.


Phishing is a type of cyber-attack where a cyber-criminal poses as a reputable authority and tries to swindle your information out of you. There are a variety of phishing techniques, but the most common demands your information because they “need it” to “help you”. 


In my case, I received a phone call from “Venmo” (it wasn’t Venmo) saying that my account had been hacked (it hadn’t). They had already attempted to login to my account before making the call to my phone number and had only made the call to receive the two-factor authentication code sent to my device.


Luckily, nothing major occurred and I was able to lock my accounts and get my password reset so they could no longer access my account. However, I knew that my passwords had been compromised and I had to reset all my accounts that had that same password attached. They had at least my phone number and password and potentially more information than that. The email my bank sent to me reminded me of the incident and the impact it had on me and my emotional state.


I felt ashamed. I felt dumb for giving whoever it was I was on the phone with my authentication code. Oftentimes, cyber-criminals will play on your emotions to get what they want. My specific caller had me feeling panicked, as though my account had already been breached and my only hope was to comply.


Now, reading this email from my bank, I feel more prepared in the event of phishing. I now know that my bank has been subject to these kinds of attacks, and I can now look out for suspicious behavior. Now that I know more about these kinds of attacks, I am confident that it won’t happen to me again.  


If you feel ashamed after being subjected to a cyber-attack, know that you’re not alone. According to USA today, over two-thirds of victims of cyber-attacks report feeling hopeless or powerless after the attack. In the case of depression or anxiety in the fallout of an attack, always seek help from a professional.


To read more about the emotional toll a cyber-attack can have, go to


Have any questions about cyber-security? Responsive Technology Partners is the leading cyber-security expert in the Athens, Metter, Milledgeville, Vidalia, and Atlanta, Georgia areas. We also have locations in Tampa, Florida, Roanoke, Virginia, and Raleigh South Carolina. Please check out our website to learn more:








Guynn, Jessica Usa Today. “Anxiety, Depression and PTSD: The Hidden Epidemic of Data Breaches and Cyber Crimes.” USA TODAY, 24 Feb. 2020,