Despite the growing trend of ‘always-on’ connections, like ADSL, only 19.5 percent of consumers and 48.9 percent of IT professionals use personal firewalls on their PCs – leaving a gaping security hole.

This is despite nearly 85 percent of consumers and 70 percent of IT professionals being aware of how to best guard against cybercrime.

The research from Applied Marketing Research also revealed that 87 percent of consumers, and 95 percent of IT professionals use anti-virus software. However only 36 percent and 68 percent respectively, updated this software on a monthly basis.

Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Symantec’s Consumer Products Division, said: “These findings show that concern and a feeling of vulnerability due to viruses and cybercrime does exist…but all types of computer users, including the more technically savvy, need to go beyond basic anti-virus protection and install more robust Internet security systems that include firewall protection.”