The UK has the worst record of updating anti-virus software in Western Europe, according to a widespread survey which suggests a third of Brits don't update their security programs.
PC Tools' survey of 4,500 people suggests that a huge amount never update their AV software and nine per cent don't install any in the first place.
Michael Greene, Vice President Product Strategy, PC Tools, says of the research: "While consumers are generally security conscious, they are not yet security savvy."
"The increased use of the internet among consumers, almost all of whom are now online on a daily basis, is providing a lucrative market for cybercriminals and as a result, we are seeing more and more sophisticated techniques that lure consumers into clicking on malicious links or downloading malicious files, for example," he added.
However, there is some positive news in the survey with 57 per cent using AV software and 64 per cent of those people switching on auto-update functionality.
"While it's promising to see that most respondents are security aware and have installed security products on their PCs, the results point to the fact that users may be bloating the system by installing too many security solutions," Greene says.
Apparently 47 per cent of men use a single password across multiple sites, compared to 26 per cent of women, who are also significantly more cautious with email links.
But men are more aware of where risks can come from - with 44 per cent of women unaware that links on social-networking sites can be dangerous.