The average Brit is worth £14,500 to a cyber criminal, according to Get Safe Online.

The organisation said that is the average amount a cyber criminal can get their hands on through fraudulent online access to bank accounts and credit cards.

According to the 2008 Get Safe Online Report, 85 percent of UK web users have anti-virus software but 48 percent of us are still not updating the software frequently enough to ensure it remains effective. The report also revealed that 47 percent do not have anti-phishing website authentication software and 19 percent admitted to using the same password for all websites, hugely increasing the risk of phishing attacks.

The report also highlighted that phising attacks are on the increase with 23 percent of those surveyed admitting to having fallen victim or knowing someone who fell victim to such an attack this year, compared to just eight per cent in 2007.

"We are actively encouraging more people to go online, but in doing so, to ensure that they are safe and secure. We want to draw attention to the fact that online criminal activity can be a sophisticated business, but that each of us can take steps to prevent ourselves from becoming a victim," said Tony Neate, managing director of

Nick Staib, director of and senior manager at HSBC, added: "If your financial reputation has been compromised through identity theft, this could have an impact on your ability to obtain credit or borrow money in the future. Even with an explanatory note on your credit record, you may be viewed as 'high risk'".