Over half of all adults in the UK – totalling 25 million – made purchases over the web in 2005.

Consumers spent a whopping £22 billion online in 310 million transactions last year, which was in increase in £6 billion from the previous year.

UK payments association Apacs reported the figures after examining data from 2005.

The number of purchases being made each year is also growing, as 18.5 purchases is the average number of those made by each online shopping last year, up from 13.6 the previous year.

Auction sites are also increasing in popularity, as 14% of adults who use the Internet bought recently from an auction site in 2005.

Credit cards seem to be the most popular way to pay, as nearly 50% of purchases online are completed with credit cards. This is compared to just 6% of payments on the high street.

Apacs reminds internet users to be vigilant in protecting passwords, shopping at secure sites, and keeping PCs virus-free with security software.