Shoppers still wary of online market

Consumer distrust of online commerce remains widespread, according to a national study released last week.

A majority of respondents, 53 percent of people reached by a Consumer Reports WebWatch survey, said they have stopped giving out personal information on the internet. Exactly one-quarter have quit buying things online altogether.

Users have also taken a variety of steps to prevent becoming victims of Internet fraud. Thirty percent have reduced their overall use of the Internet, while 58 percent of online shoppers have restricted online purchases to one credit card. Fifty-four percent of online consumers said they are now more likely to read a site's privacy policy or user agreement before purchasing an item.

The report, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates from May 16 through June 21, was based on interviews with 1,501 adult internet users contacted by telephone. The poll's sample margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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