In the context of information security, this refers to the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. A type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud or system access, it differs from a traditional 'con' in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme.
'Phishing' is a technique of fraudulently obtaining private information. Typically, the phisher sends an e-mail that appears to come from a legitimate business ie a bank or a credit card company, requesting verification of information and warning of some dire consequences if the information is not provided. The e-mail usually contains a link to a fraudulent web page that appears legitimate ie it includes a company logo and content and it also includes a form requesting comprehensive information including a home address, an ATM card PIN or a credit card number.