One of the best things about the internet is being able to connect with any device you own to learn something new or to verify a piece of information. Need to find out who that lead actor/actress in a movie is, log online. Need to verify if your favorite celebrity is still living, connect to the web. The only trouble is, that just because we can find information online, doesn't mean that everything we read online is true. In today's society, anyone with access to technology can create a website or social media account posting whatever they want. It could be opinion, fact, or fiction. How do you know? Thankfully, there are some things you can do to find credible information sources on the web. Check out these quick and easy tips to find out how.
Trust Your Gut. Believe it or not, it's in your human nature to align with things that support your personal beliefs. Make sure you're not falling into the trap of believing sensational headlines and social media posts carefully check all information and make sure that what you are reading really is true.
Double or Triple Check The Information. When looking for information online, I always look for multiple sources to verify that what I am reading is true. As I stated above, it doesn't take much technical skill to create a website, blog, or social media account that might contain fake information or the opinions of the author. When you look at multiple sources, you can get a better idea if the information being shared is true or false.
Beware of Scam Websites. Cyber Criminals will create websites with information just to lure people in for what is called 'drive-by hacking'. Crooks will take out ads on popular websites that act as if they are going to share important information. Once you click the link to visit these websites, thieves can install malicious software or have bogus prompts that inform you that your computer is infected. Take advantage of Google's Safe Browsing website to verify whether or not a website is genuine and safe to use.
Stick with Trustworthy News Sites. Most mainstream media sources are in the pockets of big corporations so it's hard to know who you can trust as far as news. There are still some trustworthy news outlets out there and I recommend that you check with these sites when verifying if a story is true or false. Those sites are Associated Press, BBC, C-Span, NPR, Reuters, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. If you're looking for general knowledge, yes you can trust the information at www.wikipedia.org Now keep in mind it's impossible to find 100% unbiased news, but for the most part, if you check these sites, a vast majority of the news is legit.
Double or Triple Check The Information. When looking for information online, I always look for multiple sources to verify that what I am reading is true. As I stated above, it doesn't take much technical skill to create a website, blog, or social media account that might contain fake information or the opinions of the author. When you look at multiple sources, you can get a better idea if the information being shared is true or false. Also, check out sources' social media pages. Trustworthy companies and sources will often have a medium to large social media presence. Fact-checking websites such as PolitiFact, Snopes, SciCheck, and Hoax-Slayer can help verify the information you come across online.
I hope you can use these tips to help identify quality online sources for news and other information. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
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