ActiveX is a set of technologies used to facilitate the interaction of software components in one network. It is installed by default using Internet Explorer. You may still need to configure its settings. To configure:
1. Open Internet Explorer. Click on the Tools menu located at the upper right portion.
2. Click Internet Options.
3. Go to the Security tab. The Internet zone will be chosen by default.
4. Select the security level for the Internet Zone. Move the slider bar up and down.
5. Click the Custom Level button.
6. Check on the buttons to select security settings; and then, click OK.
Self-sufficient components of ActiveX, called Active controls, may be required by some websites for the user to view the page or execute particular tasks. When you visit such sites, Internet Explorer will ask if you would like to install ActiveX control. Active controls are also called add-ons. These are small programs used on the Internet to enhance your browsing experience.
A Security Warning dialog box will come out and will show the name of the publisher. It will then give you the option to “Install” or “Don’t Install.” If you want to perform a certain function in the Web page, for instance view videos, you will have to click on the Install button.
Unfortunately, ActiveX controls can be misused. They might allow websites to collect your personal information and monitor your browsing habits without you knowing it. They might impede the proper functioning of your computer and might also give you content that you don’t want, like pop-up ads. To prevent this from happening, you can choose to accept content only from trusted sites or publishers.
Websites should inform you what the ActiveX control is for. It should also display important details on the Web page when you see the warning. You should decide if you’re willing to entrust your personal information to the publisher of the site.
Firefox, however, does not support ActiveX controls. For individuals who use Firefox as their Web browser, you can download a third-part Mozilla ActiveX Plug-in, developed specifically to support ActiveX.
ActiveX is built on Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM) technology. It is chiefly used to develop programs and desktop applications. It is also widely used to develop interactive content on the Internet. It can be embedded into web pages to produce multimedia effects, like animation.