Going online can be a convenient way to research health care products and find answers to health-related questions. But taking your health online also requires some extra investigative effort on your part.

  • Know who’s on the other end. Before you hand over any personal or financial information, do some research to find out who you’re dealing with, and make sure the website is secure.
  • Consider the source. In a health search, always consider who’s behind the information. Government websites (sites ending in .gov) and university or medical school websites (.edu) are good bets.
  • Only buy prescription drugs from licensed, U.S. pharmacies. Reputable pharmacies should require a prescription, have a licensed pharmacist to answer questions, and provide a physical business address and phone number.
  • Talk to your doctor or health professional. Your doctor can tell you about the effectiveness and risks of a health care product. Don’t trust a website just because it looks professional.
  • Report online fraud. If you think you may be a victim of fraud, file a complaint with the FTC.