Learn About ActiveX
- What is an ActiveX
- Why does Internet Explorer block some ActiveX controls?
- Learn more about
ActiveX controls benefits and potential
What is an ActiveX Control
ActiveX controls and web browser add-ons are small programs that are used extensively on the Internet. They can make browsing more enjoyable by providing toolbars, stock tickers, video, animated content, and more. These programs can malfunction, however, or give you content you don't want. In some cases, these programs can be used to collect information from your computer in ways you might not approve of, possibly damage information on your computer, install software on your computer without your consent, or allow someone else to control your computer remotely. Given these risks, you should only install ActiveX controls or add-ons if you completely trust the publisher and the website offering it.
Why does Internet Explorer block some ActiveX controls?
Internet Explorer blocks a website from using an ActiveX control on your computer if the website tries to use the ActiveX control in a way that might not be safe.
You should always be cautious about allowing
websites to install or use ActiveX controls on
your computer. If an ActiveX control is not
essential to your computer activity, try to
avoid installing it.
If you are trying to decide whether to install a
particular add-on or ActiveX control, ask
yourself these questions:
Do you trust the website
providing the control?
Don't install an ActiveX control unless you
trust the website that is providing it. For
information about how to decide if you can
trust a website, see
to trust a website.
Do you know what the control is for and what
it will do to your computer?
The website should tell you what this add-on
or ActiveX control is for and provide any
special details you need to know before you
install it. If this information is not
available, you should not install the
Learn more about ActiveX controls
benefits and potential dangers.
What are ActiveX controls and why would you need
them? ActiveX allows you to do more and see more
on the Internet. Many Facebook applications and
features, such as video, games and slideshows,
require ActiveX controls to view them. More
specifically, ActiveX controls are bits of code
that you acquire and install via your web
browser. They do what more simple HTML code
One of the characteristics of ActiveX controls
is a basic model for download and
implementation. An HTML tag tells the web
browser where to find the ActiveX controls and
the browser downloads them. The user is then
asked to verify their authorization before the
download commenced. Once the controls are
installed the user is allowed to use them when
they need to. This allows software developers to
share information and features with Internet
users quite easily. However, there is a serious
flaw with this method. Most Internet users do
not have the proper authorization to install the
ActiveX controls. This leaves a gap between the
program developers and the average Internet
With an increase in Internet users there has
also been an increase in Internet viruses. Some
more cruelly minded Internet users dispense
executable code across the web and these can be
dangerous. Windows set up defenses against this.
For example, you have to have the appropriate
authorization to install ActiveX controls. Once
the computer's administrator has installed the
correct codes they can be used by any one else
who uses the computer. This can be frustrating
for the average Internet user, if you don't have
administrative rights over the computer that
you're using. However, it's a very safe way to
avoid malicious code from finding its way onto
Window's defenses against viruses only operate
at the level of the single computer user. Its
defenses fall short of large organizations. IT
departments typically struggle with the issue of
permissions when it comes to using ActiveX
controls. There is a fine balance between
allowing users access to ActiveX controls and
avoiding harmful viruses. The end user is still
left with a significant amount of power when
they use ActiveX controls. Some companies limit
the ability to install ActiveX controls
altogether while others lend users a significant
amount of control but make them deal with the
ensuing malware and spyware.
Of course, it is possible for the IT department
to install the ActiveX controls on an
organization's computers ahead of time. This
will work well if the controls are fixed,
adjusted or amended in accordance with an
operating system's desktop updates.
You can use PC Cleaner Pro to block known
potential harmful ActiveX controls by
downloading this version here: >
Click here to download PC
Cleaner Pro with ActiveX blocking feature.