The study also found that 60 percent of smartphone users and almost half of tablet users are vulnerable to hacking as these devices have no protection against malicious software.

These can be anything from phishing emails, which could result in a fraudster taking over an online account, to 'session hijacking' attacks where a user's web browsing is interrupted, monitored or even hijacked, Yorkshire Post reported.

Many smartphone and tablet devices users have no protection against 'malware', software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system.

This is despite nearly half using mobile phones for internet banking and one in three for online shopping.

"This year has proved a tipping point for smartphones and tablets," said Ori Eisen of Experian, a global information services company, which published the study.

"The rapid rise in demand for online banking and retail combined with very little security on devices has created a massive opportunity for cyber criminals leaving many people and businesses extremely vulnerable," said Eisen.