Just 34 percent of PC users back up their data on a regular basis, says Symantec.

Research by the security firm revealed that 82 percent of respondents said they would be upset at the loss of files such as digital images and video as they contain precious memories, while 38 percent admitted to having lost files stored on their PCs.

Symantec also said that on average the value of the files stored on a PC was around £1,258. However, despite this UK PC users are still more likely to check the oil and water in their car than back up their PC.

Con Mallon, director of product marketing at Symantec's Norton division, said: "Our relationship with our computers has changed in recent years. We now use them as the storage vault for priceless, unique files with huge emotional value, replacing the treasured photo albums, or the stacks of love-letters tied with ribbon".

"People don't take the risk with the contents of their houses, they insure their physical possessions, so why should it be any different for computer content?" added Mallon.