The annual Norton cybercrime study is a self-reporting exercise mapping the experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries.
It puts the global cost of cyber criminals at a staggering £69 billion over the last 12 months, with 18 adults failing victim to some sort of scam every second, and more than 1.5m being hit every day around the world.
Average losses worldwide stand at £124 per victim, meaning cyber crime costs consumers more than a week's worth of nutritious food that could feed a family of four.
In the past 12 months, an estimated 556 million adults across the world experienced cybercrime, more than the entire population of the European Union. This figure represents 46% of the online adult population, up slightly from 45% in 2011.
Over that period, 12.5m people in Britain were hit by cybercrime, at a total cost of £1.8bn in direct financial losses.
Norton's 2012 study has also revealed new forms of online crime compared to last year, such as those found on social networks or mobile devices.
One in five online adults (21%) has been a victim of either social or mobile cybercrime, and 39% of social network users had been hit, with popular methods including the hacking of their profiles or them clicking on a fake link.
Some 75% of those surveyed felt that cyber criminals are specifically targeting social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but only 44% of people actually used a security solution that protects them from such threats, and just 49% utilised privacy settings to control what information they share.
Around a third (31%) of mobile users received a text message from someone they didn't know asking them to click on an embedded link.
"Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast-growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks," said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate.
"This mirrors what we saw in this year's Symantec Internet Security Threat Report which reported nearly twice the mobile vulnerabilities in 2011 from the year before."
It was found that many users are still not implementing even the most basic security measures to protect them from online threats. Some 40% did not use complex passwords or changed their passwords regularly, and more than a third failed to check for the padlock symbol before entering sensitive information on a website.
The report also indicated that 40% of adults did not know that malware can operate in ways that makes it hard to know whether a computer has been compromised, while 55% had no idea if their computer was clean of viruses.
"Malware and viruses used to wreak obvious havoc on your computer," Merritt continued.
"You'd get a blue screen, or your computer would crash, alerting you to an infection. But cybercriminals' methods have evolved; they want to avoid detection as long as possible.
"This year's results show that nearly half of internet users believe that unless their computer crashes or malfunctions, they're not 100% sure they've fallen victim to such an attack."
Elsewhere in the study, it was revealed that many users are sending highly sensitive information via their email account, meaning it was fast becoming the "keys to your online kingdom".
People reported sending, receiving and storing everything from personal photos (50%) to work-related correspondence and documents (42%) to bank statements (22%) and passwords for other online accounts (17%).
Adam Palmer, Norton Lead Cybersecurity Advisor, said that this means email accounts can act as a potential gateway for criminals looking for personal and corporate information.
"Personal email accounts often contain the keys to your online kingdom," he said.
"Not only can criminals gain access to everything in your inbox, they can also reset your passwords for any other online site you may use by clicking the 'forgot your password' link, intercepting those emails and effectively locking you out of your own accounts.
"Protect your email accordingly by using complex passwords and changing them regularly."