"Active X" is a term that has come into its own independent use apart from association with its parent and creator, Microsoft Corporation. The popularization of the term stems from the creation of a great variety of subsidiary and complementary plug-ins that have been designed to allow Active X functionality for non-compatible hardware and software. Popular programs that require the plug-ins for full functionality include many chat rooms, gaming programs, streaming audio and video tools, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Before you can take advantage of all the benefits and features, you have to complete two steps. First, you have to verify that Active X is installed on your computer and is working properly. Second, you have to complete a task that is commonly referred to as "allowing" or "enabling" Active X.
Active X works on a system of permissions. You always have three choices for setting up your Active X controls - Enable, Disable, or Prompt. Choosing "Enable" means Active X can run as programmed in the background. Choosing "Prompt" means you want to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to let a particular control run. Choosing "Disable" means you do not want to allow that feature to run on your computer. This last feature is particularly helpful for issues relating to internet security, but you should choose to disable Active X functions with care or some websites and software programs may not run properly.
* If desired, repeat steps 6-12 again with the "Local Intranet", "Trusted Sites", and "Restricted Sites" zones
NOTE: You may also from time to time receive a real-time prompt that an additional Active X plug-in is needed, which will come accompanied by an invitation to download and enable it. Use your best discretion here, as unknown Active X plug-ins can pose a security risk.