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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 17:06 GMT
Shoppers flock to bargain internet
Shopping online
Online shoppers should keep basic security tips in mind
Watch: Online shopping tips
Christmas sales online are set to smash the 7 billion barrier this year - an increase of 2 billion on last year.

17% of people now say that they prefer shopping online than braving the Christmas shopping rush on the high street.

Women will drive online shopping this Christmas, outspending men for the first time, according to internet research firm Nielsen Net Ratings.

Nielsen said that the average woman, as well as the over 55s surveyed, expect to spend more time on the internet than on the high street.

Security tips

Shoppers attracted by the convenience of buying goods online should try to keep a few basic security tips in mind to avoid fraud.

Always look for the padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when entering the name and address to make a purchase.

Also check that the browser address does not just say http:// but https:// during a transaction, as the letter 's' shows the communication between buyer and retailer is encrypted and confidential.

For additional peace of mind, shoppers can right click on the page and view its properties, which should display the website's safety certificates.


Shoppers should beware of submitting payment details twice if an online system crash occurs, as it could result in two separate purchases.

High street shopping
Prices are about 10% cheaper than on the high street

On the bright side, there are savings to be made for those doing their Christmas shopping online, as prices are about 10% cheaper than on the high street.

Price comparison websites like Kelkoo, Pricerunner and shopping.com can save time and take the hassle out of finding the best deals.

A tip for Amazon shoppers needing to find low-cost items to make up the amount needed not to pay postage is to visit filleritem.com.

For other excellent tips from the experts on Christmas shopping online, watch Gillian's report.

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