Active X Details

Active X is the successor of OLE, which stands for Object Linking and Embedding. OLE Automation granted the ability to software programs to allow people to access their services through an external user scripting language such as Lotus Script. Microsoft based Active X on the framework for creating and using components COM (Component Object Model).

You have probably come across prompts that encourage you to run another program while browsing. This happens because the websites you visit activate the Active X controls. Back in 1996, Microsoft embedded Active X controls in many Internet Explorer 3.0 plug-ins, like Adobe Flash and RealPlayer. The idea was to benefit internet users by enhancing their experience on various websites.

Active X Example

Active X is a flexible technology that has come under fire for posing a security risk to users' computers. This is because Active X controls have functions that allow reading and writing data on the hard drive. In fact, experts point out that the issue with Active X is that Microsoft has given every individual user the freedom and the responsibility to determine their computer's level of security.

Therefore, it's helpful to know how to manage Active X safely. A user would first make sure that they set their security level in Settings to High. Second, they would click on Tools and then go to Internet Options. In Internet Options, they select Security, Internet, and Custom Level. In addition, if someone wanted to turn off Active X, they would go to Tools, Manage Add-Ons, and Enable or Disable AddOns.

Two other ways of handling Active X are disabling all controls without notification and opting for prompts before enabling controls with minimal restrictions. Further, keep in mind that a malicious website could advise them to install an Active X control, which could be a part of an outdated version of a program that's already on your computer.

Significance of Active X

Active X can delete and change entire files. This used to pose a great threat to your computer by letting in Trojan Horse viruses. Many organizations continue to use Active X controls, and so, Internet Explorer and Windows 10 still support them. However, over the years, Microsoft has added protection (Protected Mode) against malware. Internet Explorer also displays warnings before downloading Active X controls.

Types of Active X Features

  • Active X Viewer: desktop central supports it to view remote computers. You must enable Active X controls on the browser that establishes the connection.
  • Active X Filtering: lets you browse without needing to enable Active X controls.
  • Active X Opt-in: disables Active X controls that haven't been tested for malware. The security status information bar in Internet Explorer 7 lets you work with each Active X control separately and be aware of what each control is doing and what the software is installing.