DO: They have credible sources
What does the about me page state, who runs this site. Medline plus has a great quote to help weed out credible sources
“There is a big difference between a site that says, “I developed this site after my heart attack” and one that says, “This page on heart attack was developed by health professionals at the American Heart Association.”
Also just because someone says they’re an expert doesn’t mean they are. Credible health websites will use simple terms and phrases, don’t make “cure all” promises or have vague terms for their “expert” A credible source can provide their credentials easily and why/how they are an expert in that area.
DON’T: They aren’t biased (at least not completely) or paid to sell you this info
Every website is going to have some form of bias however they should be upfront about it. If the information is sponsored by or paid for by an organization or company it should be listed as so. The ad’s should be listed as provided by a sponsor. Also a credible site won’t just push one drug or one technique. It will give a well rounded list of options, if it doesn’t, with a little digging, you can generally find that that site was paid for by a specific drug company or the like. Well rounded, scientific information is what we want yall!
DO: Provide current information
A credible site will provide up date and relevant information. This also depends on the topic. We are finding out new information all the time about things related to the heart and brain and treatments for them, however treatment and ideas about coping with a loss or managing stress haven’t changed as quickly. Current updates on the website or post show that this site is doing it’s best to stay relevant year to year.
DON’T: Rely solely on opinion
This isn’t your “sisters best friends uncle say’s” kind of website. A quality health website provides you with evidence (peer reviewed studies and literature) not one random MD’s opinion.
DO: Have reliable authorities
If you can’t easily contact the organization running a website be leery, and remember not all experts are the created equal. A credible site can list their sources, their credentials and why they are the looked to authority on the subject. Non-profit organizations, healthcare institutions, universities and the like often provide credible sources.
DON’T: Compromise your privacy