According to a new report, online fraudsters can make as much as £15,000 from a stolen identity.
The terrifying findings were published to mark Get Safe Online Week.
They revealed that identities are being sold online for £80 including credit card details, plus the cardholder's name, as well as addresses, and passport and driving licence numbers.
The research also included a survey of 1400 adults in the UK with access to the Internet.
This found that one in five people use the same password for all their internet logins, leaving them wide open to hacking.
And 50% of the respondents admitted to not updating their anti-virus software as often as they should, while a quarter do not have any spyware protection.
Tony Neate, managing director of GetSafeOnline.org, said: "We are actively encouraging more people to go online, but in doing so, to ensure that they are safe and secure".
"If internet users invest a relatively small amount of time and money in ensuring they are fully protected and up-to-date, the risk of such financial loss is almost negligible."
"To install the essential software and learn about the key safety measures takes a matter of a few hours - a small but worthwhile inconvenience compared to the potential loss."