It’s always been a popular thing among webmasters to bash Internet Explorer – and truthfully there was always good reason for it. Lately however Microsoft has been hard at work improving Internet Explorer. IE always had a bad reputation for being more susceptible to malware than other modern browsers – and there was always some truth to that. Microsoft addresses that concern by blocking outdated ActiveX controls starting today.
“Starting August 12th Internet Explorer will block out-of-date ActiveX controls. ActiveX controls are small apps that let Web sites provide content, like videos and games, and let you interact with content like toolbars. Unfortunately, because many ActiveX controls aren’t automatically updated, they can become outdated as new versions are released. It’s very important that you keep your ActiveX controls up-to-date because malicious or compromised Web pages can target security flaws in outdated controls to collect information, install dangerous software, or by let someone else control your computer remotely.”
The company further explains, “Internet Explorer uses a Microsoft-hosted file, versionlist.xml, to determine whether an ActiveX control should be stopped from loading. This file is updated with newly-discovered out-of-date ActiveX controls, which Internet Explorer automatically downloads to your local copy of the file. We are initially flagging older versions of Java, but over time will add other outdated ActiveX controls to the list“.