Internet users in Birmingham are 18 times more likely to catch a computer virus than a common cold, claims internet and cable TV firm Telewest.
The firm's latest survey also found one in four people are wasting thousands of pounds in an attempt to cure their germ-ridden PCs, with users set to spend a staggering £3 billion on the problem this year alone.
Telewest says some have even resorted to throwing their computer away because they get too frustrated or think it is beyond repair.
The firm adds that the threat of viruses is also stopping people from enjoying surfing the internet and making use of email.
Nearly ten per cent admitted they are scared of making purchases online, missing out on internet shopping, while almost half (43 per cent) won't open an email attachment from friends.
According to respondents, the concern is due to a lack of knowledge, with over a third of people in Birmingham admitting they don't know how to prevent a virus. Twenty six per cent rely on the limited knowledge of friends and family to help them out.
And with over 80 per cent of Birmingham's surfers worrying or feeling stressed about the threat of computer viruses, the cable company is urging people to ensure their computer is fit and healthy to ward off unwanted germs - without spending a fortune.
Telewest is urging all PC owners to be more vigilant with potential online risks.
Its PCguard service is now available to all broadband internet customers and provides a comprehensive security package to help curb the misery caused by viruses and other online threats.
It includes a pop-up blocker, a firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing activity plus anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
Telewest engineer Ian Clarke, from Warmley, said: "With over 200,000 viruses in existence at any one time, it's no wonder internet users worry about falling victim to one.
"Prevention is better than cure and we must treat our computers with TLC."