Microsoft’s chief strategy officer Craig Mundie has suggested that internet users should be required to have a mandatory “internet drivers license” before being allowed online.

Mundie claimed that because of the sheer scale of security threats online, users should have to complete training before they are allowed online.

The controversial comments came as Mundie spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in which he proposed a three-tier system of authentication – for people, devices and applications.

The comments stressed that most users were unaware of online threats, with many unaware of scams such as phishing, advance fee fraud (419) scams, spyware and Trojans. Many users also fail to update their antivirus software on a regular basis.

He conceded that whilst this would mean some loss of anonymity for users online, people were accustomed to having to present identification in other areas of life and the internet should not be different.

“If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance,” he said.

“People don’t understand the scale of criminal activity on the internet. Whether criminal, individual or nation states, the community is growing more sophisticated.”

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