How to Find Health Information You Can Trust

Finding health information on the Internet is easy.  Telling the good  from the bad can be hard.  When you visit a site that claims it provides “expert” health information,  check it for some clues:

Who runs the site?

This is a major clue when you find a site on your health topic.  Start with sites run by the government or known national health organizations.

Note that anyone can buy a site ending with .org. That alone does not mean it is reliable.  Most sites will have an “About Us” section that should tell you more about them.  Also look for contact information and a physical address.

What is the purpose of the site?

You want to find health information that is unbiased. Some sites will present information that looks good even when it’s not.  Avoid sites that try to sell you something.  For example, information on a drug from the company that makes it would have more of a bias than a neutral site. Can you tell if the information is actually an ad? Some sites look valid, but are really ads.  Check to see who sponsors the site. They may have influence on the health information  being presented.

How can you tell if the information is reliable?

You may not be a health expert, but look for clues to find out if the information is credible.  Does the site state where the information comes from?  Was it written by experts? Does it list the authors and their credentials?  Does the site include an editorial board or review process?  How long ago was the site updated?

These clues will help you decide whether you can trust the health  on a particular website.  For additional information on this topic, visit the links on our Evaluating Health  on The Web page.

To get started, we suggest you visit our list of Reliable Health Web Sites .