Wednesday, January 4, 2012

[EQ] Safety and security on the Internet - WHO

Safety and security on the Internet

Challenges and advances in Member States

Based on the findings of the second global survey on eHealth

WHO Global Observatory for eHealth series - Volume 4, December 2011

Authors: Kevin Clauson and Karen Vieira,
International expert reviewers: Erin Holmes, Lana Ivanitskaya, Pauline Sweetman, and Michael Veronin.
WHO reviewers Najeeb Al Shorbaji and Joan Dzenowagis.
inancial support and collaboration of the Rockefeller Foundation

Available online PDF [92p.] at:

 “…..The Internet has moved beyond an educational and research tool that once served as a social network for a few elite scientists and has been transformed into a commerce and health care juggernaut now accessible to much of the planet. However, this transformation has not been free of complications and challenges.

Safety and security on the Internet: challenges and advances in Member States is the fourth volume of the WHO Global Observatory for eHealth series. It explores controversial and complex issues facing society such as Internet pharmacies and their control and regulation, mechanisms to combat escalating Internet security threats, government strategies to protect children and adolescents online, and practices to control quality and reliability of online health information.

This publication provides the detailed results and analysis from the second global survey on eHealth. It emphasizes the need for citizen- and institution- government-related action and suggests approaches on how to build on existing initiatives and navigating the obstacles along the way…”

Table of contents

Executive summary

1. Introduction

1.1. Internet pharmacies .

1.2 Internet security


Viruses and malware

Phishing scams

1.3 Online safety of children and adolescents - Unsupervised access to children and teens

1.4 Digital literacy and online health information quality  -Accuracy and reliability of online health information

Online Health Information in developing countries

2.         Review of the literature

2.1 Internet pharmacies


Safety of medications purchased online: is there cause for concern?

Availability of prescription-only drugs and lack of clinical oversight

Medical questionnaires

Internet pharmacy locations

Counterfeit and substandard medications

Packaging and labelling

2.2 Internet security


Pharmaceutical and health-related spam, spim, and spit

Does spam affect consumer behaviour?

Reliability and validity of health products purchased from spam e-mails

2.3 Online safety of children and adolescents


Are children and adolescents at risk when online? .

Children and adolescents online without supervision

The link between children online and child pornography

2.4 Digital literacy and online health information quality


Searching for health information online: is quality content easily accessible?

The role of search engines

How do health information seekers search for information? .

Quality of search engine results

Do Internet searches retrieve desired health information?

3.         Analysis and discussion of survey results

4.         Conclusions

5.         References

Appendix 1. Methodology of the second global survey on eHealth

Purpose .

Survey implementation

Survey instrument .

Survey development

Data Collector

Preparation to launch the survey



Data processing

Response rate

Response rate by WHO region

Response rate by World Bank income group

References .




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