Published: July 10, 2023
Authored by Pfizer Medical Team
Health Information: The Good, The Bad, and the Not So Reliable
The Internet puts a vast amount of health and wellness information at our fingertips. But how do we know if that information is trustworthy? Or if it could be outdated, inaccurate or even dangerous?
Which websites should you trust? Here are 6 tips to help you suss out the good, the bad and the not so reliable websites when it comes to health information:
Most credible sites (like those from government agencies and reputable health organisations) will be clear about who they are - on the Home page.
If the website doesn’t disclose the site owner, be wary.
If you’re still not sure, check the About section to see where the information is coming from.
Depending on the topic - health information can become outdated quickly. Always check for a posting date, “Reviewed on” date, or copyright date to ensure the content is still current and relevant.
The site should clearly indicate (usually on the Home page or About page) whether it is intended for the general public or healthcare professionals.
Quality websites should offer health information that can be confirmed using other credible sources such as links to other reliable web pages, or references to support the information.
Steer clear of articles that make claims that seem too good to be true.
Any information presented as an opinion should be clearly labelled as a blog post or personal opinion story and should come from a qualified professional or organisation.
If you are asked to provide any personal information: such as your name, age, or email address - it’s important to know how that information will be used by the site owner and whether it will be provided to other companies - before you give it out.
Don’t reveal your personal information if:
And last but not least - a trustworthy website will welcome your feedback and include contact information (look for the Contact Us or About sections).