What is the information of the internet

Find good information on the web

Trustworthy providers

These pages provide you with independent and up-to-date information:

Characteristics of good information

Many websites do not only want to inform you, but also pursue other interests that you cannot immediately recognize.

These points give you indications as to whether an offer is trustworthy:

  • Good information explains who the offer is for and what the goal is.

  • You can easily determine who is responsible for the content. Information can be found under: "Contact", "Imprint" or "About us". Name, address and contact options by phone or email should be easy to find here.

  • You will find information on how the website is financed. Sponsors are named.

  • Good information is ad-free and brand-name free.

  • All texts are up to date. You can recognize this by the date of publication or the last update.

  • Both experts and those affected have worked on good information. A reference to this is often at the beginning of the text. Contributors are also named in the "Imprint"

  • The text gives you further internet sites, literature, self-help organizations or other contact points.

  • Serious websites have an understandable data protection declaration. They indicate how they handle your personal data.

  • The providers disclose how they create their information. Instructions on how to proceed can be found in a freely accessible method paper.

  • There is a notice on the website that the information is not a substitute for a doctor's visit.

How do I know if information is correct?

There is no silver bullet for judging whether information is right or wrong. You should pay attention to the following:

  • The text is clearly structured and understandable. Technical terms are explained.

  • The information is balanced and neutral. It describes all currently recommended examination and treatment options with their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Good information provides understandable numbers and comparisons for effectiveness.

  • All information on the benefits or risks of an examination or treatment is supported by the most reliable scientific sources currently available. The team of authors did not select these at random, but systematically determined them and assessed their quality.

  • Some examinations or treatments can be stressful and affect everyday life. Some patients have to pay for them themselves. There should be a reference to that.

  • There is currently no evidence of effectiveness for some examination and treatment methods. Individual procedures have not yet been well investigated or there are contradicting results. The information mentions these uncertainties.

  • Good information tells you how a disease will go without treatment.

  • Become suspicious if information is sensationally written by making you fearful or belittling it. Formulations such as "absolutely free of side effects" and "100% guarantee of effectiveness" are not credible. You should also be careful when expensive products are advertised or other offers are poorly made.

What you can do yourself

  • Before you turn on your computer, think carefully about what you want to look for. It can help to think about it beforehand and to write down a few search terms.

  • Medical knowledge is not always useful for everyone. It can also be stressful. You have a right not to want to know some things. So consider what you want to find out with your search and what you don't.

  • Complaints can have many causes. The correct diagnosis cannot be found out with a computer or smartphone alone. Seek medical advice when in doubt.

  • No matter how good information is and why you were looking for it: Talk to your doctor about your search and the results. Together you can assess this and, if necessary, plan the procedure for you.

  • Be critical - mistakes can happen on the best website. Therefore, compare the information from several offers or at least look at a second page.

  • Seals of quality can show you whether one strives for quality and openness. You can recognize this by the logos on the start page, such as the HON code. You can click on this and then get more information about the website. However, seals do not say anything about whether information is correct in terms of content.

  • Think about how much you would like to tell others about your state of health, for example in internet forums.

  • Remember that email is like a postcard that people can read who it was not intended for. Don't just send your medical history or documents to strangers.

  • Remember to regularly update your computer's security settings.

► Video

"Find good information on the net" in cooperation with TV waiting room®... healthy television!

May 2020, published by the German Medical Association and the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians