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The UK Government reckons it's safe to shop online this Christmas despite consumers' continuing fears over credit card fraud and personal privacy.

Plugging advice for eshoppers, Consumer Minister Melanie Johnson said the risks surrounding online shopping could be reduced by following a few simple rules.

Among them is for eshoppers to use sites thay they know or are recommended, and to get the etailer's phone number and postal address.

Said Miss Johnson said: "Shopping on the internet can be safe if you follow a few simple rules. Our research shows that consumers have greater confidence in the safety of online shopping than they did a year ago."

The research found that confidence is growing among online shoppers but some are still concerned about credit card fraud, having to give out personal information and that some etraders might not be genuine.

Research published today by Nielsen//NetRatings fund that the UK is a nation of eshoppers with more than two thirds of e-window shoppers going on to make a purchase.

This gives the UK the highest browsing-to-buying conversion rate of all the ten major markets studied, beating countries such as Sweden, Germany and France. ®

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