The intensity of access of persons to the internet has escalated in recent times with so many websites being run by people of varying civilization, moral values and cultures. The global reception of the internet has aided the easy accessibility of information. However the inability to sometimes authenticate the sources of this information has made it difficult to establish the credibility of information displayed on some websites (Brian, 2004).
Here are a few steps in determining the integrity of a website.
- Is the site professionally constituted? If a site is proficient you will see links that carry .gov/.edu/.org with the domain name (Elizabeth, 1996).
- Is the site published and copyrighted? Most researches are sponsored. The guarantor of the webpage must be reputable e.g. Time Magazine, Mc-Graw Hill etc.
- Is the information focused? Check to see if there are advertisements on the page. The website should not be bias. If so, the website may be a form of advertisement instead of dependable information (Prochazka, 2010).
- Is there a clear relationship with the website and the author? The qualifications of the author should support the kind of information which the website is putting out.
- Can the information on the website be compared with link websites? Evaluate the information on that website with linked websites for correspondence of information.
- When was the last update carried out? The site should be updated frequently. The date for the latest update usually appears at the beginning or end of the site's home page (Boklaschuk, and Caisse, 2001).
- Are there references on the website? Search the website for references and links that reflect the quality and amount of research put into work.
Here is a scenario where the above steps are implemented. My cousin Henry needs to access credible information about herpes but does not know how to go about it. I direct him to a website I find credible with the domain name www.health24.com because it meets all the steps given above. It is straight to the point, clear and concise on treatments for certain levels of symptoms shown by Henry. In comparison to other websites claiming to have information on the cure for herpes, www.health24.com stands out as unbiased and guided to even helping in home administered medication. I also made Henry aware of dubious websites like www.xherpes.com that claim to have not only intensive information on the disease called herpes but also the cure. Reading through www.health24.com it can be seen that the website is focused only on its subject matter unlike www.xherpes.com which is more concerned with advertising and selling its drugs. Therefore www.health24.com is a better website in giving of valid information than www.xherpes.com.
Also, it is almost impossible to contact any specialist or even the authors of the website from xherpes.com but with health24.com on the other hand contacting a specialist to shed more light on some subject is relatively very easy. The closest contact an individual can get on xherpes.com is a link to ordering for one or more of the drugs displayed for sale on the websites. Health24.com has shown their vividness in expertise on giving out credible information which is not the case with xherpes.com. It is nearly impossible to contact any specialist or even the authors of the website www.xherpes.com. I made it clear to Henry that the various differences between these two websites www.health24.com and www.xherpes.com are clear discrepancies exposing the validity of information found in each website. So when next he wants to surf the internet in search for valid information the above written processes should act as guide to getting dependable information. I highly recommended www.health24.com as a more reliable source for information.