What is an ActiveX Control?
ActiveX Control is a Microsoft control which is a set of programmed instructions that may be written in C, C++ or JAVA mostly.This control can be automatically downloaded by the web browser and executed without the user permission. It is similar to the JAVA applet that has full control over the Windows OS. The main difference being that JAVA can run on multiple platforms, but the ActiveX control requires either Microsoft Windows or a Windows emulator to run.
In Layman terms, it takes some of your control and automatically sets up the whole website when your are browsing through it. An ActiveX control enables the animation content on the websites which makes browsing more appealing and interesting. In most of the cases, the website will tell you to download an ActiveX Control typically known as an “Add On” which will enable the content and animations on that particular website.
What are the RISKS involved?
The ActiveX deals with sharing of information but has a great deal of risks involved with it. It does not need permission to download in most cases and can also lead to the downloading of the malicious content.It may record your browsing habits and your personal information without your knowledge. Also, it may generate unwanted pop-up ads which may lead you to malicious websites.
To deal with this, Microsoft had launched a registration process so that the browsers can identify and authenticate an ActiveX control before downloading it on the system.
While it is not a threat always. You may download the ActiveX control from all the trusted websites while refrain from the suspicious one’s.
Though it is a deprecated software framework but, it is still being used in advanced technologies like ADO (ActiveX Data Objects), ASP (Active Server Pages) and ASF (ActiveX Streaming Format).
Also read: Best cameras for YouTube videos