The number of Web sites offering health-related resources—including information about complementary health approaches (often called complementary and alternative medicine)—grows every day. Social media sites are also increasingly popular sources of health information. Many online health resources are useful, but others are inaccurate or misleading. To find sources you can trust and to learn how to assess their information, check out our information on "Finding and Evaluating Online Resources" at http://1.usa.gov/1SRhufH.
Ask these five questions when you visit a site for the first time:
- Who runs the Web site? Can you trust them?
- What does the site say? Do its claims seem too good to be true?
- When was the information posted or reviewed? Is it up-to-date?
- Where did the information come from? Is it based on scientific research?
- Why does the site exist? Is it selling something?
Be particularly cautious about a site if it:
- Is selling something
- Includes outdated information
- Makes excessive claims for what a product can do
- Is sponsored by an organization whose goals differ from yours.