This is the most common way that chords, scales and other content will be shown throughout this site. Most tuitional or scale books will show it in this way. It can be a little confusing for left handed players at first.
When you place your finger just behind the fret you don't have to put as much pressure down to sound the note. Be sure you use the tips of your fingers to press down on the strings.
See if you can stretch your four fingers out over the first four frets, remember to keep your fingers just behind the frets.