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Do your children use computers? The National Computer Security Association in the United States wants to make sure your kids are not doing anything "unethical and irresponsible." On the CompuServe online service, the group is sponsoring a list of questions, compiled by Dr. Peter S. Tippett, director of Computer Ethics Institute in Santa Monica, California:

10 Questions Parents Should Ask their Children

  1. Do you ever connect your computer to a telephone or otherwise use a network? Do you use e-mail? Do you use a modem?
  2. Do you legitimately own all of the software, games, and programs you have or use? Where are the manuals, boxes, and license agreements for these programs?
  3. Where did the contents of your homework come from? If you copied text and images from another source, did you get permission?
  4. Do you ever use other people's computers or look at or copy their files without their knowledge or permission?
  5. Do you use the telephone, video, cable TV, computer networks, bulletin boards, or other network services without paying for them?
  6. Do you have any newsletters, plans, guidelines, or "how-to" files or documents about making bombs, breaking into systems, stealing computer access, or stealing passwords?
  7. Do you have any prank programs, computer viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs, or other malicious software? Do you use bulletin boards or systems that contain these things, or do you have friends or acquaintances who do?
  8. Who do you associate with when you use the net?
  9. Do you have any computer graphics files that you would be embarrassed about? Are they things you would be comfortable showing me? Showing your grandmother?
  10. Do you ever use an assumed name, a handle, or an alias instead of your real name? What are you trying to hide by not using your real name? Are you trying to pretend to be something or someone you're not?

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