Getting Started Online: The Search

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The goal of the "BetterToKnowC" channel is to educate and inspire people through engaging, educational content around hepatitis C. In the US, nearly 4 million people have been infected with hepatitis C and 75% of these people don’t know they’re infected. The more you know about hepatitis C, the better prepared you’ll be to make informed decisions about your liver health and treatment options - that’s why it’s better to know about C. We work with leading researchers, doctors, public health experts and other partners who share our vision for transforming the lives of people with serious diseases, their families and society.

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  • Welcome to Getting Started Online: The Search How to find Reliable Hepatitis C Information on the Internet
  • The Internet is a great resource for finding information and advice about a health condition, a treatment, and much more. However, with the large amount of information that you may find, it is important to understand how to find and evaluate reliable sources of information so you know what you can trust to make better decisions about your health. It is also important to understand that there is a wide variety of health information sources on the Internet, from government agencies to drug companies, to small groups and individuals. This means that some of the information you find may not be accurate, up to date, or reliable, and that some of the information you find may be opinionated or conflicting.  You should always keep in mind that information you find on a Website is not a replacement for medical advice or a medical diagnosis. Before starting or stopping any treatment, be sure to talk about it with your doctor.
  • Also, your personal information is exactly that: personal. This includes your health information, so nobody but you and your doctor need to know about your condition, symptoms, or treatment. Be very careful what you share with anyone else, both online and offline.  There are certain kinds of information that you should be especially careful with sharing to prevent identity theft. This includes your: Health informationAddressPhone numberDriver's license numberSocial Security numberBank account numberCredit card numbersDate of birth …or anything else you consider private. If you do choose to share any of this information, be sure it is with a source you trust.
  • The internet is a great resource for finding information on any topic, including health, but it's important to verify the information you find because not everything will be accurate or up to date.
  • A “search engine” is a program that helps you find other Websites based on search terms, or words that describe what you’re looking for. You can use a search engine to find health information on the Web.
  • The most popular search engines right now are: Google Yahoo!BingAOLAsk  Even though these search engines look a little different and give you slightly different results, you use them the same way. The more you use search engines and become familiar with how they work, the easier searching will get.
  • To get started, type in a few words that best describe what you’re looking for, such as “hepatitis c symptoms” or “hepatitis c information.”  The words you type in are called “search terms.” Click on the Search button to get your results.
  • If you can’t find what you're looking for, try using different search terms and see how the results change.  For example, suppose you try searching first for “hepatitis c.” Next time, you might try searching for “hepatitis c information.” With time, you'll get a better feel for using the search terms that get the results you want.
  • Entering the same search terms into different search engines might turn up different results.
  • Your search results are listed in order of how well they match what you’re looking for—at least to a certain extent. Search engines use a complex set of rules to find results, and the best match isn’t always at the top.
  • On some search engine results, you may notice a colored box on top or on the side of your search results. These are known as "sponsored links.“ Sponsored links are paid for.  Some sites pay the search engines to advertise in these areas. Even though these results may be related to your search, they are usually ads for Websites that sell products or services.
  • Your search may turn up different kinds of result types, including Websites, documents called “PDFs," videos, discussion forums, and social media.
  • In fact, on Google and some other search engines, you can even select which content format you are looking for, such as videos or images that match your search terms. For example, clicking on “images” in any of these search engines will only give you images that fit your search term.
  • …And these results could come from different sources, such as health information portals, news outlets, commercial organizations, drug companies, the government, patient advocacy or disease awareness organizations, scientific research databases, and commercial organizations.
  • Because of these different formats, the pages you find may look very different from one another, and that's okay. You might find some Websites more useful than others, and that's okay, too.
  • It’s important to read your search results correctly so you know which sites you want to visit. The title tells you the content of the individual Web page that is relevant to your search. The title is also a link; clicking on it will take you to the Website. The description gives you more detail about the Website. The URL is the site address on the Web. The whole URL may not show up here if it is long. The "cached" link takes you to a snapshot of the Web page that the search engine has stored from the past. This cached Web page shows your search terms highlighted.  Some search engines include a "similar" link in their search results to offer you other Web content that is similar to your current result.
  • Also, Google has a feature called "Onebox." When you search the name of a medication on Google, the first result will be to the National Institute of Health description of that medication. The result shows the red and blue pill-shaped Onebox logo followed by links and information from the official description.
  • After you’ve looked at a Web page, you can go back to your search results by using the “back” button at the top of your screen. Use the “forward” button to return to a page you just left after having used the “back” button. When you find your way back to your search results, you can then choose another result and explore some more.
  • You can also make your search more exact by changing your search terms. Try adding or changing terms to see if you get more helpful results. In the examples here, the term “signs of hepatitis c” was replaced with “hepatitis c symptoms.”
  • Sometimes you may need to stop your search and continue later. Here are a few ways you can save Websites: 1. Write them down. This can be tricky because it's easy to make mistakes when writing down a long URL. 2. Copy and paste them into another program, like Microsoft Word, and save it for reference later. 3. Add a "bookmark" on your Web browser.
  • To copy a URL, click in the address bar of your browser so that the URL is “highlighted.” If you are using the most common computer setup, you then press Ctrl+C. If you don’t have a “control” button, look for and press “Command” + C.  To paste a URL into another program, such as an e-mail, Notepad, Textedit, or Microsoft Word, open the program and then press Ctrl + V (or “Command” + V if you don’t have a “control” button). Later, you can either click on the URL or copy and paste it into your browser again. If you paste URLs into a word processing program, like Microsoft Word, you can print the document to take with you.
  • To use the bookmarks in your Web browser find the “Favorites” or “Bookmark” tab at the top of your browser and then add the site you are currently on to your list. When you want to come back to the site, you can open the same tab and select the site from a dropdown list.  Be careful—bookmarks work best if you own the computer or the computer belongs to someone you trust, because the bookmarks stay on the computer that you are using when you save them. However, many public computers may have programs that delete bookmarks automatically.
  • Your health information is confidential. No one needs to know which Websites you’ve visited except you. Some newer Web browsers have a setting that allows you to browse the Web in private, automatically erasing the history of the Websites you have visited. To use “InPrivate” in Internet Explorer 8, click “Safety” and then choose “InPrivate Browsing.” To use “Private Browsing” in Firefox, go to “Tools” and then click “Start Private Browsing.”When you are finished, be sure to close your browser window. If you’re on a shared computer, you may also need to log off.
  • If you’ve used a shared computer without turning on a private browsing setting, you can still erase the browsing history, or “clear your cache.” This means no one will be able to see which Websites you’ve visited. This option may be in a different place from one browser to the next. Remember to close the browser when you are finished.Please note that while these tips will keep your browsing history private from almost all other users, people with special skills could still find out which Websites you've visited if they use the right software. Also, almost all Websites keep a special record of the people who have visited their Website.
  • Sometimes, you might be asked to accept “cookies” from Websites. Cookies hold onto information that enables the site to track your computer. You don't have to allow cookies. You may also come across something called "Autofill." Autofills are tools that save information you type in and automatically fill out online forms for you. Since the information will be saved on the computer, you should only use Autofill tools if you are sure no one else will use your computer.
  • In addition to using a search engine, here are a few reliable Websites that many Internet users value and trust.
  • Use what you have learned here to find more credible information to help you manage your disease. Arm yourself with information to learn about, test for, and get treated for your condition. It's always better to know if you have hepatitis C, because if you know about it, you can prepare to get treated for it.
  • Getting Started Online: The Search

    1. 1. How to Find Reliable Hepatitis C Information on the Internet.<br />
    2. 2. It is important to understand how to find and evaluate reliable sources of information so you know what you can trust to make better decisions about your health.<br />Information that you find on a Website is not a replacement for medical advice or a medical diagnosis. Before starting or stopping any treatment, be sure to talk about it with your doctor. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    3. 3. Be careful about what you share with others, especially your: <br /><ul><li>Health information
    4. 4. Address
    5. 5. Phone number
    6. 6. Driver's license number
    7. 7. Social Security number
    8. 8. Bank account number
    9. 9. Credit card numbers
    10. 10. Date of birth</li></ul> …or anything else you consider private.<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    11. 11. Verifying the information you find online is important.<br />Not everything you find will be accurate or up to date. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    12. 12. Search Engine: a program that helps you find other Websites. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    13. 13. Currently, the most popular search engines are†: <br /><ul><li>Google (www.google.com)
    14. 14. Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com)
    15. 15. Bing (www.bing.com)
    16. 16. AOL (www.aol.com)
    17. 17. Ask (www.ask.com)</li></ul>†Source: Alexa.com<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    18. 18. <ul><li>Search Terms: a few words that best describe what you’re looking for
    19. 19. Type in your search terms
    20. 20. Click on the "Search" button to view your results</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    21. 21. <ul><li>Try using different search terms
    22. 22. With time, you’ll get a better feel for using them</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    23. 23. Entering the same search terms into different search engines might turn up different results.<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    24. 24. Might be a closer match than the results below it<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    25. 25. Sponsored links are paid for.<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    26. 26. <ul><li>Websites
    27. 27. Documents (PDFs)
    28. 28. News
    29. 29. Videos
    30. 30. Discussions
    31. 31. Social media, including blogs and Twitter
    32. 32. Images</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    33. 33. Select the content <br />you are looking for.<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    34. 34. <ul><li>Health information portals
    35. 35. News outlets
    36. 36. Commercial organizations
    37. 37. Drug companies
    38. 38. Government
    39. 39. Patient advocacy/disease awareness organizations
    40. 40. Scientific research databases</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    41. 41. Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    42. 42. A. Title: Tells you the content of the individual Web page that is relevant to your search. <br /> <br />B. Description: Contains more detail about the Web page and/or site.<br /> <br />C. URL: The site address on the Web. <br /> <br />D. Cached: A link to a snapshot of the Web page that the search engine has stored. This cached Web page shows your search terms highlighted. <br /> <br />E. Similar: A link to Websites that are related to your current result. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    43. 43. The first non-sponsored result is called a "Google Onebox" result. It includes information from the National Institute of Health (NIH). <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    44. 44. <ul><li>Go back by using the "Back" button at the top of your screen.
    45. 45. Use the "Forward" button to return to the page you just left.
    46. 46. Choose another result and explore further.</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    47. 47. Fine-tune your search by changing your search terms. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    48. 48. Write them down. <br />Copy and paste them into another program, like Microsoft Word.<br />Add a "Bookmark" on your Web browser. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    49. 49. Copy = Ctrl + C (or "Command" + C)<br />Paste = Ctrl + V (or "Command" + V)<br />Tip: If you paste URLs into a word processing program, you can print the document to take with you. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    50. 50. Web browser bookmarks<br />Careful! Bookmark lists stay on the computer you are using when you save them, and almost all Websites keep a special record of the people who visit them.<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    51. 51. Private Browsing<br /><ul><li> "InPrivate" in Internet Explorer 8
    52. 52. "Private Browsing" in Firefox.</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    53. 53. Delete browsing history<br />Careful! Your browsing history may still be accessible to people with specialized skills. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    54. 54. Cookies hold on to information that enables the site to track your computer.<br />Autofill tools save information to automatically fill out online forms for you. <br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    55. 55. Government Websites<br /><ul><li>Healthfinder.gov
    56. 56. MedlinePlus.gov
    57. 57. Health.NIH.gov
    58. 58. HHS.gov
    59. 59. CDC.gov/hepatitis</li></ul> <br />Hospital Websites<br /><ul><li>ClevelandClinic.org
    60. 60. MayoClinic.org</li></ul> <br />Commercial Health Websites<br /><ul><li>FamilyDoctor.org
    61. 61. WebMD.com</li></ul> <br />University Hospital Websites<br /><ul><li>UMM.edu (University of Maryland Medical Center)
    62. 62. MGH.Harvard.edu</li></ul>Getting Started Online: The Search<br />
    63. 63. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.<br />http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/<br />Getting Started Online: The Search<br />

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