<a href=”http://searchwinit.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid1_gci211522,00.html”>ActiveX</a> is Microsoft technology used for developing reusable object oriented software components. One place where ActiveX controls are very common is in Internet Explorer.
Once installed, an ActiveX control in effect becomes part of the operating system. For example, IE cannot read the Flash media format by itself but can do so with an ActiveX control from Adobe.
The interactive nature of ActiveX controls has became a major source of security problems. A lot of malware, spyware and adware is downloaded as ActiveX controls. Microsoft tightened up the security in XP SP2 and IE 7 but security issues remain.
Because of these problems, many security-conscious computer users are switching from IE to browsers that do not support ActiveX such as Firefox.
ActiveX is a useful technology and a must if you need to use Microsoft applications or accessing websites which are designed by them. The trick is to limit its use & access to a minimum. Keep your operating system, firewall, virus & malware definitions up-to-date. Don’t give yourself administrator privilege while you are surfing the web.