Three-quarters of social networkers are failing to protect themselves against online threats according to security firm, AVG.  Just 27 percent of social networkers are protecting themselves against online threats said the company.

AVG's Bringing Social Security to the Online community survey, which was conducted in conjunction with the CMO Council, revealed that 64 percent of web users that use sites such as Facebook and Twitter admitted to very rarely changing their passwords, while only 43 percent adjust their privacy settings on a frequent basis.

"As social networking populations grow globally and the proliferation of niche social networks and mobile offerings extends the reach of social communities, the threats and vulnerabilities are escalating accordingly," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.

AVG said that 21 percent of social networkers accept contact from members they don't recognise, while 26 percent share files within a social network and 64 percent said they click on links sent by other members.

As a result of poor security practices, 20 percent of web users that belong to a social network have been the victim of identity theft, while 55 percent have experienced a phishing attack and 47 percent admitted they have been attacked by malware.

"The fact that users understand the risks, and yet are failing to take the basic steps to protect themselves presents an interesting challenge to companies, like AVG, that are working to create a safer cyber community," said Siobhan MacDermott, head of public policy, corporate communications and investor Relations, AVG Technologies.