DIY Solutions

ActiveX... Dangerous? Posted at 13/12/13 - 02:24 PM

Question (paraphrased): "I've accessed a website that says it uses 'ActiveX controls,' and that I need to use Internet Explorer for it to work properly.

Is this dangerous?

Answer: ActiveX is a scripting language used by websites that generally can only be used with the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser. That means you likely can only access the site from a Windows PC (i.e. NOT an Apple or Android device).

Whether specific ActiveX scripts are risky is not really the right question. Whether or not the website, itself, is risky... that's more relevant. Scripting can be either useful or malicious, so it's important to evaluate the source, rather than the technology.

As an aside, I recently installed a security camera, where its administration menu used ActiveX. I could only properly configure it from a Windows PC via Internet Explorer. This as very irritating for a Firefox user like myself.

Fortunately, the general use of ActiveX is becoming less common.

Author: J. Schmitz
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