FAQ for Parents
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FAQ for Parents

1. What risks / dangers are my children facing when browsing the Internet?
Access unsuitable information
Access website with information that might not be suitable for them, including those pornographic, violence and online gambling sites, and those related to illegal activities,advocate taking drugs, poisons or alcohol.
Give out private information
Some children may give out private information, such as credit card information, password, personal information about themselves and family, by filling out forms and entering online contest. Some websites may collect and sell these kind of information for illegal activities, like buying things and charging them to you.
On the Internet, a person can hide their true identity and pretend to be anyone or anything. Children may meet some paedophiles in the chat rooms. They will try to be friend with your children, collect personal information from them and may then arrange to meet your children in person.
Online harassment
Your children may be harassed by online person. They may receive some rude, abusive or threathening email or online messages.
Attackers and malwares
There are some people on the Internet that are keens on breaking into computers, damaging computers of others or spreading malwares. On the other hand, many children are not careful enough or not having adequate security protection of their computers. This will greatly increase the chance of success of the attackers.
Commit computer crimes
Examples of computer crimes include gaining unauthorised access to other computer systems, writing and spreading computer malware to attack other computers and infringing copyrights. Children are easily fascinated by the challenge and excitement gained from hacking.
2. Is there any hints / guidelines for me to teach my children on proper use of Internet?

Listed below are some guidelines on proper use of Internet for your children:

Not to trust everything or every person online. Information found on the Internet may not be always true. People may pretend to be anyone they want to be.
To treat every online person (they do not know in real life) as stranger.
Not to meet online friend in person unless you or a guardian is with them, at least for the first time.
Not to disclose personal information, e.g. full names, contact numbers, home addresses, credit card information, family details etc.
Not to disclose / share passwords to anyone, even their best friends.
Not to spend too much time online.
Not to respond to email or online message related to harassment, threats or spam. Ignoring them is often the best way.
Not to download any pirated software, music or video.
Not to agree to terms of websites that they are not sure about.
To get your approval first before they want to order anything online. Moreover, it is better to order the things for them yourself, from reliable websites and with security protection.
To discuss with you if they find something online that seems strange to them, or makes them feel angry or uncomfortable.
To be nice and respectful of others.
To update the latest patch /version of web browser / application / operating system.
To scan all downloaded files before opening, using the latest malware definition.
Not to try online gambling.
3. My children often sit in front of the computer for the whole day. What are they doing actually?

You may consider the Internet as a huge virtual library, with a vast amount and variety of valuable information and knowledge. You should encourage your children to search for and learn useful materials from the Internet to assist in their study and broader their vision. Meanwhile, Internet is also a good place for entertainment. Your children could relax themselves by watching movies, listening to music and playing games.

However, you should also teach them not to believe everything from the Internet since not everything they found is correct. They should learn how to judge and evaluate the credibility of a site and the content, such as from the purpose of the site, the authors and their authority. You are also recommended to surf the Internet with them and provide proper guidance to them.

Moreover, make sure your children do not overuse the computer. Apart from having fun with the computer, your children should have other activities and interests, like sports, family time and friends in real life. Do not let your children be addicted to Internet surfing.

Apart from these, teach them to be careful in Internet surfing, online purchase, email communication and meeting new friends. They should be cautious not to give out private information, aware of the attacker and malware attack and not getting involved in illegal matters.

4. Actually, what is ICQ? Is there any risks in using ICQ?

ICQ stands for "I Seek You", which is a kind of instant messenger application that allows two people to communicate in "real time" over the Internet. Using ICQ, your children could meet new friends, know whenever their friends are online, and can send text messages, files, e-card and so on to their friends.

However, because of its ease of use and simplicity in the design, it may not be secure enough. Some malicious persons may use it to launch attack, steal files or spread malware.

Listed below are some safety tips on using ICQ:

Using standard email application for communication is more secure than using ICQ.
Protect the ICQ password and do not save it on PC. Change the password regularly.
Do not disclose personal information, like phone, picture, address etc., especially to strangers.
Accept messages and files only from users your children know.
Scan all files using anti-malware software before your children open them.
Schedule daily malware scan and update malware definition file frequently.
Require authorisation for others to include your children to their contact list.
Hide IP address from others as far as possible to prevent IP-based attack.
Upgrade latest version of ICQ software from reputable site.
Don't let your children meet their new ICQ friends in person unless a parent or guardian is with them, at least for the first time.
Do not spend too much time on ICQ.
5. I've installed anti-malware software in my children's PC. Is this safe enough to be free from malware attack?

This is not enough! Without updating the PC with the latest malware definition file, it is not protected against new malwares. You should teach your children to update definition file regularly, approximately about once a week or when new signature is released. Moreover, the computer should also be scanned regularly to make your anti-malware protection effective, such as by running a scheduled scan.

6. What should I do if my children's PC is infected with malware?

If a malware is found, don't be panic! Stop all the activities of the infected machine and clean the malware using anti-malware tools or follow the instructions from anti-malware vendors. When the malware is removed, you can then restore the data from clean backup.

Actually, the best thing to do against malware is PREVENTION. You should make sure your children's PC is installed with anti-malware software and updated with the latest malware definition file. Meanwhile, you should also teach your children to always scan floppy disk, CD and files downloaded from Internet before using them. Moreover, your children should also backup the important programs and data regularly. This is the most secure way to restore the files after a malware attack.

Click here for more information related to malware, such as the latest malwares, types of malware, the ways to handle it and some tips on protecting computers from malware attack.

7. I have received some emails with malware related warnings that asked me to forward it to all persons I know. Somebody tells me that the message may not be true. How could I know it?

Some malicious individuals would send email regarding malware-related warning / alert that is untrue, and spread away to as many people as it could via the Internet. We usually call this kind of email as 'hoax'. You may click here for more information on hoax and the ways to identify it.

8. Some news reported that there are faked websites and fraudulent emails trying to get account and credit card information from us. What should I teach my children to prevent this from happening to them?

There are some faked websites that pretend to be popular shops, trying to get your credit card or other personal information. Moreover, there are some 'spoofed' emails which are sent in bulk with deceiving or fraudulent message. Some may even invite recipient to click the embedded links to some fraudulent websites, and deceive them to enter personal banking information such as accounts, passwords and credit card information.

Here are some tips for your children to follow:

Not to follow URL links from un-trusted sources or emails to avoid being re-directed to malicious websites.
The safest way to ensure the website being visited is the one you are looking for is to type the URL manually or follow the bookmarks you've made previously.
Perform online purchase only at reliable websites and with security protection (e.g. if the website address has "https" prefix).
Be wary when giving off personal or account information. Banks seldom ask for these kind of information through email.
Ensure that your computer is applied with the latest security patches and malware definition file to reduce the chance of being affected by fraudulent websites or emails riding on software vulnerabilities.
You may find more information at the following locations:
9. I have heard about news of young people hacking others' computers. Is it a crime?

Young people are easily fascinated by the challenge and excitement gained from hacking. Hacking into other people's computer is illegal and is a serious crime. You should be aware of the existing laws / regulations on computer related crimes and warn your children of the heavy penalty as well. You may refer to the following locations in this website for more information regarding computer related crimes, such as the types of crime, related ordinances and penalties and some real cases on computer crimes:

10. My children want to meet online new friends in person. Shall I approve them?

On the Internet, a person can hide their true identity and pretend to be anyone or anything. Perhaps they are being nice to your children because they want something. Hence, you should teach your children to treat their online friends as strangers. You should not allow your children meet an online friend in person without your permission or without adult present, at least for the first time.