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About National Museum of Computing

National Museum of Computing is home to a collection of working historic computers for preservation, display, demonstration and research. It is based in Bletchley, England.

National Museum of Computing Headquarter Location

Block H Bletchley Park

Bletchley, England, MK3 6EB,

United Kingdom

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Are the old banking guard finally starting to engage with social media?

Jun 28, 2021

As the Bank of England partners with Snapchat and Citizens Advice goes onto TikTok to warn users about scams, Alys Key takes a look at how online financial education is a critical next step Snapchat and the Bank of England unveil an Augmented Reality lens for the new £50 featuring Alan Turing, at The National Museum of Computing (Photo: Mikael Buck/Snapchat) June 28, 2021 6:00 am Financial establishments and social media platforms are not the easiest of bedfellows. But as our smartphones become the place we do everything from sharing selfies to paying our gas bills, the old guard is realising that they need to “connect”. Most recently, the Bank of England teamed up with photo-messaging platform Snapchat for the second time to create an ‘augmented reality lens’ for their newest bank note. By scanning the £50 note on their app, users see an animation bring the cash to life and can learn more about the man featured on the new design: Alan Turing. It is just one example of ways in which traditional financial organisations are making an effort to use social media, a step that could be crucial in the fightback against online fraud. Get financial advice and industry news, to you help manage your money Email address is invalid The rapid rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin, as well as a booming stock market, has lit up excitement around financial topics on social media this year. But one of the most common crypto scams which Pinsent Masons identified were those where a criminal posed as a famous person online. “Cryptocurrency’s unregulated nature means that it is a very friendly ecosystem for fraudsters,” said Hinesh Shah, senior associate forensic accountant at the firm. “Technology makes it very easy to impersonate Tesla boss Elon Musk’s email or social media account and take advantage of unwary investors.” And yet, for many, online resources are filling a gap left by formal education. Or in some cases, discussing financial problems with the comfort of relative anonymity can allow people to open up about subjects they might not even be able to talk about with family – you need only look at a few posts on Reddit forum r/debtfree, for those trying to get out of debt, to see in action how powerful internet-based support can be. Equipping users with skills So how do we preserve the access to financial information and community that social media creates while protecting people from bad actors? That is a question which TikTok, a short video platform, is trying to answer in the latest installment of its #LearnOnTikTok series, for which it has partnered with Citizens Advice. Much like the Bank of England and Snapchat partnership, the project sees an established player in the form of the 80-year-old charitable organisation recognising the power of social media to spread factual information. “We’re pleased to be working with TikTok to help people make informed financial decisions,” said Jessica Abelscroft, director of communications and engagement at Citizens Advice. “It’s an important part of our wider financial and scams awareness work, as well as reaching new audiences on TikTok who we know could benefit from timely, practical and tactical advice.” The initiative is a continuation of TikTok’s #FactCheckYourFeed campaign, which first began in May with efforts to combat misinformation about Covid-19. This time, money is the focus, and the creators involved range from Dragon’s Den judge Tej Lalvani to Emmy Dent, a Durham-based mortgage adviser whose straight-talking advice on buying a house has amassed her a following of more than 50,000 people on her profile @thatmortgageadvisor. The videos cover topics including how to spot scams, translations of financial jargon, and why you should do your research rather than being swayed by what everyone else is doing. At its heart, the campaign focuses on critical thinking. TikTok hopes that it “equips our community with the tools they needs to make the right financial decisions for them”. It is a pragmatic approach, which assumes that it might not always be possible for users to avoid all harmful content, or for it to be removed by the platform in time. So it makes sense that, if we can’t stop people from acting in bad faith online, we have to encourage others not to act in blind faith. With one in five 16 to 24-year olds relying on social media for financial advice, according to debt management company Lowell, it is crucial that they learn quickly about the risks of doing so. But the onus should not be solely on the user. The platforms have their part to play, and so do the people who build their followings by talking about money. Emilie Bellet, founder of Vestpod, a digital platform focused on empowering women through money management, says that influencers should keep in mind that acquiring an audience comes with its own responsibility. “The subject of finance and especially investing has taken social media by storm, and while it’s been amazing to see people talking more openly about money, novice investors may end up following ‘advice’ not adapted to their needs or taking too much risk,” she told iMoney. “Content creators should prioritise offering education and guidance rather than ‘hot’ tips, and focus on helping people make more sustainable, long-term and informed financial decisions,” she added. What’s left to do? Despite the efforts of social media sites and financial institutions, campaigners say there is still a long way to go, with education alone not enough if it is not matched by increased protections for users. The scourge of scam adverts in particular has come under fire, with consumer group Which? estimating that nearly one in 10 has fallen victim to scam adverts on social media or search engines. These types of scam often exploit the good name of a well-known influencer or celebrity, encouraging users to click through. NatWest’s annual ranking of celebrity scams found earlier this month that Holly Willoughby, Lord Alan Sugar, and Bear Grylls have all had their images used to swindle customers out of six-figure sums. A crackdown may finally be coming on that front, with the Financial Conduct Authority warning recently that it will take legal action against Google and social media companies if they do not stem the tide of adverts for financial scams. Until then, social media users should keep in mind the words of @pokubanks, a TikTok-er with more than 300,000 followers: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Topics

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