The Internet can be an excellent resource for consumer health information, but finding correct, up-to-date facts online is not always easy. The Medical College of Wisconsin has pulled together tips and tricks to help you evaluate information, and has also curated lists of reliable, trusted web pages.
Tips for evaluating health information on the web:
- Look for websites that are sponsored by an educational, health or governmental organization.
- Check to see if websites are written or reviewed by doctors or other medical professionals with trusted credentials.
- Always look for websites with up-to-date information. There should be a date listed when the website was created or last updated.
- Websites should be stable with working hyperlinks.
- Avoid websites that collect, use or share personal data without clearly asking for your consent.
- Avoid websites that try to sell you something or that are political in nature.
- Avoid websites that require registration. If you do sign up, make sure the website states that your personal information will not be shared without your clear consent.
Learn more about evaluating consumer health information on the Internet at these two websites:
- User’s Guide to Finding and Using Information on the Web from the Medical Library Association.
- Evaluating Health Information from MedlinePlus sponsored by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
Remember, even the highest quality websites cannot replace regular medical care.