The internet brings a virtually endless stream of information to your screen. But that doesn’t mean it’s all reliable. When you’re looking for health information, keep these tips in mind:
Choose your sources wisely. Websites run by governments, hospitals, universities and national medical groups are some of the sources you can often trust. The website should tell you who runs it. Look for an “About us” section on the page.
Get your doctor’s take. Ask your doctor to suggest a source you can trust. Another thing to keep in mind: It’s always a good idea to tell your doctor about any medicines or other treatments you are thinking of trying.
Consider incredible claims. Before you decide to trust a website, evaluate some of the claims you find there. Any claim that sounds too good to be true probably isn’t true.
Phrases like these should set off red flags:
• Miracle cure
• Amazing results
• The treatment your doctor doesn’t want you to know about
• One treatment cures many illnesses
• Money-back guarantee
Look for current information. When was the information posted? Medical information is always changing. A good website should be updated over time. Look for a date that says when the information was posted or reviewed.
Sources: American Cancer Society; National Institute on Aging