Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:33 PM
ActiveX is a feature created by Microsoft for Windows operating systems which can be used by Developers and WebMasters who wish to provide special features to be available at their site. (sounds, animations, gaming interaction, testing scans, etc.) Some are "signed" and others may not be.
Being signed does not necessarily make an ActiveX good, it only gives you additional information as to the source of the scripting. Not being "signed" does not necessarily mean that an ActiveX is bad.
I suppose that there are ActiveX scripts that I commonly use, but they may not be the same as those you might decide to use simply because you may not browse to the same websites that I frequent.
For instance, I frequently allow the ActiveX for the PCPitstop OverDrive Full Tests, and while millions of people use that site, many more millions have never even heard of it. Others I use include online scanning tools such as Crucial, ESET, Kaspersky, speedtest.net, etc.
Similarly, some folks enjoy online website-based competative games which require ActiveX components to allow the user's machine to be modified by the website so that it has the necessary tools available to run that particular website's gaming applications. I'm not a gamer, and therefore would not immediately know if an ActiveX for a gaming site is safe. I would have to individually research it. Trivially... Pogo games are generally safe, but All Star Poker may not be. (and not just because of the risks of chance in the gaming activity) Similarly, the games of FunWebProducts(IWon) are quite common and even come pre-installed on some computers. However, many knowledgeable folks consider that publisher to be spyware
Hundreds of thousands of developers have created website features specific to their own interest group and the presentation they wish to provide for their users. Each feature can be completely written from scratch by the developer, or can incorporate common features of general ActiveX scripting, or a combination of both original and borrowed.
It is a buyer-beware/browser-beware world out there.
Research the site and its offered features before allowing them to run on your machine.
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