Microsoft have disclosed that Windows 7 and Vista users should completely disable the Windows Sidebar and Gadgets, due to a serious security risk. The Windows Sidebar is a vertical bar that can appear anyway on your desktop. The Sidebar allows users to run small programs called “gadgets” that for example provide a clock, weather updates, news RSS feeds etc.
Microsoft have though issued a security advisory that highlights serious security
vulnerabilities which could allow malware to be remotely executed via the Windows Sidebar, when ONLY running insecure Gadgets. Microsoft at the time of writing of this post have not issued their customary security patch to fix this vulnerability. Right now they are saying ALL Windows 7 and Vista users should DISABLE the Windows 7 and Vista Sidebar and Gadgets.
To completely disable the Windows 7 and Vista Sidebar and Gadgets you will need to
use the Microsoft “Fix It Tool“. TIP: Follow the “Fix It Tool” wizard carefully and you should not experience any problems. You can also save the automatic fix to a flash drive or CD, so you can run this tool on a computer that has the problem.
Safe surfing folks!
Bootnote: Windows 8, the next version of Windows, doesn’t include Gadgets.