DEARBORN - On Feb. 24, any third-party desktop gadgets that you may have on your computer will be automatically disabled and will be removed from your sidebar. Future installations of those types of gadgets also will be prevented as of that date. This initiative is to prevent security risks from potentially unsafe gadgets.
A desktop gadget (or widget) is typically a very simple application that runs on the desktop and provides some utility or function, such as a clock or calendar. This is opposed to a complete software program with broader capabilities.
Ford employees are still encouraged to use the desktop gadgets that come preloaded on our computers that run Windows 7 and Vista operating systems – these will not be included in the Feb. 24 desktop gadget clean out. XP users will be excluded from this action as they do not have preloaded gadgets or the ability to download third-party gadgets. To learn more about using your computer’s preloaded desktop gadgets watch this short video here.
Note: To determine which operating system you’re using, click the “Start” button, right click on “Computer,” and then click “Properties.
Windows 7 and Vista users can access preloaded gadgets by right clicking anywhere on their desktop to bring up the gadget menu. Then drag any of the available gadgets to your desktop, such as CPU Meter, Currency, Weather and more.
The third-party desktop gadgets that will be disabled on Feb. 24 are those that have been downloaded from any outside source (and are not part of the preloaded gadget selection on our computers.)
Examples of popular third-party gadgets that will no longer be valid can be found at http://www.myfavoritegadgets.info/. These may include applications such as System gadgets, Drives Monitor, GPU Monitor, Mouse Monitor, Keyboard Monitor, Parking Status, Metric Clock, Google PR Monitor, Atomic Clock, Barcode, System uptime and many more.
Microsoft, which provides the gadgets for Windows 7 users, also has acknowledged the potential security risk that third-party gadgets can present and discontinued support of its gadgets store last year. They say risks can include gadgets accessing computer's files, executing arbitrary codes, showing objectionable content or changing their behavior at any time.
As a reminder, the use of unapproved software is against company policy. This includes the use of third-party gadgets that may have been installed without going through the Ford software approval process. For more information please see the ITPM Section 8.1.1.F Roles and Responsibilities (d) Software.
The good news is that on Feb, 24, when Ford disables all those security-risky third-party gadgets, company computers will be safer. It also means that anyone who has been using third-party gadgets for work-critical functions will need to find a suitable alternate resource for the information or functions those gadgets were providing. Digital Worker suggests visiting Productivity Hub, a community forum, to connect with others to share information on this topic.
Please visit the main page at Productivity Hub, or go direct to the forum for third-party desktop gadgets. You also can reach this forum from the main page by selecting “Forums” from the left menu, navigating to the “Windows” topic category and then scrolling to the “Third-Party Desktop Gadget” discussion thread.