Tips for downloading and using Microsoft ActiveX include installing ActiveX controls only when certain about the credentials of the website and publisher, avoiding downloading and installing ActiveX controls unless required and uninstalling ActiveX controls once they are no longer needed. Microsoft ActiveX controls function similarly to add-ons and work through Microsoft Internet Explorer to enhance the display and functionality of websites that use them.
Websites that feature ActiveX controls should always include information on what the ActiveX controls do. Although Internet Explorer can automatically block many websites from installing ActiveX controls that may compromise the computer's safety, it is still best for the user to adopt a proactive approach and only install the controls if deemed entirely safe. Less scrupulous ActiveX controls may include pop-up ads, collect browsing habits and impair the functionality of the computer. In some cases, even ActiveX controls that follow their displayed purpose may inadvertently feature security vulnerabilities through specific code, which potentially could allow an outsider to gather personal information or install malicious software.
Users can uninstall some ActiveX controls through accessing the Manage Add-ons option within Internet Explorer. These ActiveX controls are limited to the ones the user individually installed, but preinstalled controls may be disabled instead of removed. In some cases, it may be possible to remove a stubborn ActiveX control through the Windows Control Panel.