By: Silje Lier, MPH, Communication Advisor
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
US Department of Health and Human Services
Do you often do a Web search of your physical symptoms in hopes of finding more information? Do the search results make you feel anxious and afraid, convinced that you’re suffering from a rare illness?
Today, 3 out of 4 Internet users look up health information online. And with the huge variety of information available to the public, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Everyone deserves to have access to health websites they can trust. But how do you know which websites can be trusted?
For starters, you should be able to (quickly!) answer the following four questions about the website you visit:
- Who sponsors or hosts the website?
- When was the information published?
- Is my privacy being protected?
- Whom can I contact for more information?
If a health website doesn’t tell you these things, go somewhere else that does get you to the health information you need.
One of these trusted websites is healthfinder.gov, a plain language website that provides free, reliable prevention and wellness guidance, vetted and continually updated by content experts across HHS.
Its interactive myhealthfinder tool lets users get personalized guidance on recommended preventive services (like flu shots and annual checkups), which, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, must be covered by all Marketplace plans and many others at no out-of-pocket cost.