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6. Consider the source.

Just because it's on the Net doesn't mean the information is either accurate or true. After all, virtually anyone can "publish" anything on the Internet and the World Wide Web. So be skeptical at all times.

If the information is on a Web site, try to determine:

  • What person or organization created the information?

  • What's the motivation behind it?

  • When was the material last updated?

The same goes for newsgroup postings, where unscrupulous marketers sometimes plant positive comments about their own products and negative ones about their competitors'-making it appear as though the comments were made by actual users of the products.

TIP

  • Many Web sites include an About Us or Company Info link that you can click on to get more information about the company behind the site.

  • Netscape's Page Info feature can sometimes help in determining the currency of a specific Web page. Click on View and then on Page Info. The resulting screen (Figure 6) will often include the date the Web page was last modified. (Microsoft Internet Explorer doesn't currently offer a Page Info feature.)

    Figure 6 You can use Netscape's Page Info feature to find out when a Web page was last modified.

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