What's That Widget Doing To Your Visitors?

from the problems-problems dept

It’s become increasingly popular to stick various “widgets” on websites and blogs. These are tools or features provided by other providers, that can easily be placed on website with a little bit of javascript. One of the problems, though, is that you don’t always know what these widgets are doing to your visitors. Of course, one of the most popular such widget is Google’s AdSense code (which, yes, we use here as well). However, there were reports earlier this week that AdSense was prompting users to install some software for visitors using certain configurations. Google seems to have admitted that it was an accident that they’ve since fixed, but it’s a good reminder that for sites that use many of these widgets, they potentially could be putting their visitors at risk without realizing it. Traditionally, people think of security as protecting their own computer, but perhaps site owners are going to start thinking of how to protect their visitors from security issues as well. It becomes tricky, because most people feel that certain sites that they visit are “safe,” but it may be increasingly difficult to determine which sites are actually safe when you don’t know who’s providing all the various widgets — or if those widgets have somehow been compromised.

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Comments on “What's That Widget Doing To Your Visitors?”

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Cyryl says:



First THIS you FAG!

*kicks you in your immature mouth*


Widgets are cool and all but they leave us all open to code. It can come at us in different ways. The page can easily be changed by code that already exists in our cache. Usually by some kind of worm.

People should be more careful… I keep telling people whos’ computers I fix to SCAN, SCAN, SCAN!! But do they listen? NO.

They are the reason that bugs and scripts are able to propagate themselves.



You lazy PILES.

Ana says:

Re: Re:


Now, Widgets can be fun and let users do interesting things, but normal user don”t like to “accept” to stuff that they don”t already know as safe.

So in the best of cases, those stuff can slow the page”s loading time, and maybe your users don”t even want nor use that stuff.

It”s all in your website”s style. Maybe people just want to enters and read it”s content. Just that.

Widgets sometimes can be VERY annoying.

It”s just my personal opinion. You don”t have to agree, you know.


Good Little Sheep Here

Jealous Cyryl? LOL

Without all those “lazy PILES” most tech supporters would be out a job. Think of it as job security. You want your customers to be stupid.. don’t you?

As for me, not so much. My customers have to take ownership of the sites and programs I write for them… I don’t get paid extra when they have a problem with something I build. A problem, I might add, that is of no fault of mine or the program’s.

And why is it that these people who know absolutely nothing about maintaining a website keep calling me to build them one? It doesn’t matter.. after I complete my end of the deal, I change my phone number.

rijit (profile) says:

Bah, let’s post another article to scare the uneducated on the net. Nothing wrong with gadgets, so long as you know where they are from, what they do, and how they are used. Just make sure they are from reputable people. Most gadgets are nothing but javascript or xml wrapped in javascript, a look through the code can show you hidden things, it is not rocket science. If you can’t look through the code, perhaps you should pay someone to make your website who can look through it.

Methinks I need a vacation says:


Here’s the bottom line. The only way to have a secure PC, is to Unplug it from the Internet, Remove any wireless Network Adapters, Turn it off, and Lock it into a Steel Vault, putitng that Steel Vault into a Cement Vault, and burying it 6 feet underneath the topsoil at Cerns Memorial Gardens Cemetary. If you do that to your PC, I guarantee, no body will go through the trouble of digging it up to put bad WIDGET code on your system!


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