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Activex Controls

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There are a couple of websites that I would like to visit but they require me to d/l their ActiveX control first. I am a newbie to computer security programs but I have done enough reading to know that there is a good likelyhood that an unwanted program would be attached to their activex control.

I would not mind taking a small risk of clicking on their d/l their activex as long as I could reduce it to as small as possible.

My system is an e-machine with XP home. I use the IE browser.

I have the following security:
1. Norton IS 2008 which I bought
2. Spyblaster 4.0 which I d/l for free a few days ago
3. ESET online scanner the free version

I ran a scan with all three a few days ago and found no problems.

I also recently d/l Adobe Flash Player 9 Activex

I guess that my questions are:
1. Should I d/l some additional security programs first?
2. If one of my security programs detect a dangerous add on program will it block installation of the complete activex control and thus entry to the websites or just the dangerous, unwanted part?
3. Should I not take the risk, no matter how small?
4. Are these security systems compatible with each other?

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Norton IS is pretty dependable at spotting malicious ActiveX scripts on websites and will block them automatically, or advise you to click the "block"button. If that does occur I wouldn't go near that website again or continue to navigate into it at all -- if you did, Norton IS would simply issue repeated warnings as the script tries to run again (triggered by your mouse clicks on the web-page). Don't even consider trying to continue using such websites, you'll just be bombarded with security warnings for your own good. Should you disable Norton IS and take the risk? -- That's unwise. What's the point of buying protection if you're going to ignore it or circumvent it?

Your list of installed security software is fine. Nothing conflicts, since it's okay to run an online AV scanner even with Norton IS installed. And Anti-spyware tools do not conflict with AV software either. The big "no-no" is to have two 'real time' AV applications running at the same time, nor must you have two firewalls active at the same time.

If you are concerned about the security aspect of ActiveX (and you are quite right to be) you should use either Firefox or K-Meleon instead of Internet Explorer. They do not "understand" ActiveX and consequently ActiveX scripts and controls cannnot run on them. This doesn't mean they are immune to all malware attacks, but far fewer than IE and certainly not ActiveX-related ones. It does mean, however, that some websites (like Microsoft Update) will not function in those browsers, but in that event you just remember to use Internet Explorer only when you need it, and only on those sites you trust. People don't recommend other web-browsers just to "bash" Microsoft. There is a very good reason for it --- security.

Firefox: http:\\www.firefox.com

K-Meleon (quicker startup than Firefox): http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/

Using a web-browser other than Internet Explorer is probably one of the quickest and easiest changes you can make to beef up your online security.

Edited by pip22, 28 April 2008 - 07:34 AM.

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I d/l Firefox and tried again on one of the websites. To be honest with you it is an adult site. Even though I was using Firefox, I still got a message to d/l their activex control. I did not of course. I had to go to my task manager to get out of the situation. I'm not sure if it is related but today I cannot get Yahoo mail to open for me.

At any rate thanks for your solid advice pip22.
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