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Find reliable information online

Read more about how to find reliable information online and to avoid fake news.

Not everything you see online can be trusted.

Knowing how to identify reliable information is a handy skill to have and can help to keep you and your community safer online.

Did you know not everything you see online can be trusted?

Here are our 5 tips to find more reliable info online

Go to official apps or websites of organisations you a trust

Read the whole article, not just the headlines

Use the ABC and your state emergency service website or apps in an emergency

Think before you share info you find on social media. It might be fake

Criminals can try to trick you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Learn more good things this Get Online Week:

Get Online Week is a campaign by Good Things Foundation Australia

Use official websites

Go to the official website or app of organisations you know and trust already to find information about them, their products or services. If you are searching for them on Google, scroll past links marked as ‘sponsored’ as these are ads. Instead look for their official website in the unsponsored results you are shown.

Top tip: Don’t panic. There’s a lot of information online and it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Look at the web address (URL) to see what type of organisation created the website. Websites run by the Australian Government tend to be reliable and have up to date information. Official Australian Government websites have in their URL. Websites with .com in their URL are typically run by a business who might be trying to sell you something.

Check how current the news or information on the website is by looking for a publishing date.

Top tip: In an emergency, the ABC is an official source of information as our ‘emergency broadcaster’. You can also check your state emergency websites or apps to find updates you can trust.

Not everything on social media is true

Social media is great for sharing info with your friends, family and community. But, not everything you see, watch or read on social media is true, even if someone you trust posts about it. Some people try to deliberately trick you. Other people share wrong information by accident.

Think before you share. Do you think what you are seeing might not be real?

Top tip: Watch out for fake news. It can look just like legitimate information so can be tricky to spot.

Don’t rely on just the headlines. Instead, read the full article and check if what you see is right on official websites or apps. You can also use online fact checkers like or

Look out for scams and fake accounts

Criminals may try to trick you by sending you fake SMS, emails or social media messages. They can pretend to be your friends, family, government organisations or businesses.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t click on links you are sent and not expecting. Instead, check on their official website or app that what they are saying is true. Contact them using details you find on the official website, not the details sent to you.

Top tip: Check out for the latest information on scams and what you can do if you are caught out.

Help to stop fake accounts being created in your name and scammers using your details by limiting what you share on social media. Try not to share your birthday, home address, email address, phone number or location publicly.

Only accept friend requests from people you know. Research people you want to follow on social media to make sure it’s really them.

Top tip: Report scammers and fake accounts to the social media platform to help others to not be caught out.

Keep learning

The Be Connected and Good Things Learning websites have tips about finding information online. Visit and Learn digital skills to get started.

Our thanks to our friends at QUT Digital Media Research Centre for their collaboration on these tips.