Formulations by legal advisor Ellen K. Christiansen and Phd student Hege K. Andreassen, Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine.
There is no trusted body to tell you which web sites you can trust. You therefore have to decide for yourself. If you want to be more confident that the information you get from health related websites is reliable, we suggest you check against the following points:
- Is there information on how to contact those responsible for the website?
- Is the overall purpose of the site stated?
- What audience is the website targeted at?
- Does the web site state that the information contained is subject to professional quality control?
- Does the web site cite sources of the information it presents?
- Do they indicate when the page was last updated?
- Has the site been updated recently?
- Do they say anything about how the site is financed?
- Is the site’s advertising policy explicitly stated?
- Is there a clear distinction between editorial and advertising material?
- Do they state that potential information concerning you, will not be transferred to others?
- Is there information about the selection criteria in conjunction with links?
- Do you get the impression the web site and its editors are reliable?
Particularly important considerations when visiting web sites offering contact through email:
- Do you know who answers your queries and their qualifications?
- Do they describe the areas in which they are qualified to answer your queries?
- Do they ask you to provide unnecessary information? (If they claim your personal information will not be released to others, it should not be necessary for you to state your date of birth, address and telephone number to enter their web site)
- Does the web site convey information on security, personal information and how this information is stored?
- Do they inform you when to expect a reply?
- Do you receive a reply within an acceptable period of time?
- Do they state that the information you provide will not be released to others?
- Do they have an appropriate disclaymer?
Overall: Do you know who you are dealing with and what their intentions are?