NIH offers tips for finding accurate health information online

Bethesda, MD – The Internet provides a wealth of information on countless topics. However, it is important to know what information is accurate and credible.

The National Institutes of Health has provided guidelines for consumers on how to find up-to-date, objective health information, including:

  • Seek out expert sources. The source should be the federal government, a professional or nonprofit organization, or a health system. Be wary if you cannot find the organization’s contact information.
  • Who wrote the information? Read the source’s “About us” page or mission statement. Ensure the information is reviewed before it is posted.
  • Beware of words such as “breakthroughs,” “secret ingredients” and sensational writing, including frequent use of exclamation points.
  • Look for medical research instead of opinions. Avoid anonymous testimonials.
  • Information should be current.
  • Protect yourself by reading the privacy policy. The source may state on its website that it will share your information with companies.
  • Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have with the information you found.