Is Discord Safe for Your Kids? What Parents Need To Know

what is discord

In this digital age, social media platforms and communication applications have become an essential part of our lives. One such platform that has gained immense popularity among young people is Discord. As a parent, it is vital to be aware of the various platforms your children use and ensure their safety. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive guide on Discord. We will discuss what Discord is, its safety features, and available parental controls.

What is Discord?

Discord is a free communication platform designed for creating communities, from gaming groups to educational forums. Launched in 2015, it has rapidly grown in popularity, with over 250 million registered users worldwide. Primarily designed for gamers, Discord allows users to create and join servers – private or public – to chat through text, voice, or video calls.

Discord Safety

Discord has implemented several safety features to protect its users; however, like any other social media platform, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks. Here are some aspects to consider regarding Discord safety:

  • Age Restriction: Discord requires users to be at least 13 years old. While this may offer some level of protection, it is crucial to monitor your child’s online activity and ensure they are not exposed to inappropriate content or conversations.
  • Content: Users can create and join servers based on their interests, which may range from gaming to education. However, some servers may contain explicit content or discussions not suitable for children. It is important to be aware of the servers your child is participating in and regularly discuss their online experiences with them.
  • Cyberbullying and Harassment: As with any online platform, there is a risk of cyberbullying and harassment on Discord. Encourage your child to report any incidents of bullying or harassment to you or a trusted adult, and provide support in dealing with such situations.
  • Privacy: Discord allows users to send private messages, which can be a cause for concern for parents. Ensure your child understands the importance of protecting their personal information and not engaging in private conversations with strangers.
  • Predators and Scammers: Online predators and scammers can target children on social media platforms, including Discord. Educate your child about the dangers of interacting with strangers online and encourage them to report any suspicious behaviour.z

Also Read: Virtual Reality Sports Games: Active Gaming Experiences

Pros and Cons of Discord

Pros of Discord

  1. Easy communication: Discord offers a seamless communication experience through text, voice, and video chats, making it easy for users to connect with friends, family, or other community members.
  2. Customisable servers: Users can create and join servers tailored to their interests, providing a platform for people with similar hobbies and passions to come together and share their experiences.
  3. Free to use: Discord is free to use for the majority of its features, making it accessible to a wide range of users without any financial barriers.
  4. Multi-platform compatibility: Discord is available on various devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, allowing users to stay connected across different platforms.
  5. Low latency voice chat: Discord’s voice chat offers low latency, providing a high-quality audio experience ideal for gaming or other real-time communication needs.
  6. Integrations with gaming platforms: Discord integrates with popular gaming platforms like Steam, Xbox, and PlayStation, allowing users to share their gaming activity, achievements, and other relevant information with their friends.
  7. Active user base: With a large and active user base, Discord offers an excellent opportunity for users to connect with others who share their interests, participate in community events, and stay informed about their favourite topics.

Cons of Discord:

  1. Inappropriate content: Like any social media platform, Discord can expose users to inappropriate or explicit content. Parents need to be aware of the servers their children are joining and ensure they are age-appropriate.
  2. Cyberbullying and harassment: Discord users may encounter cyberbullying or harassment, which can negatively impact mental health and well-being.
  3. Online predators and scammers: There is a risk of encountering online predators and scammers who may target vulnerable users for various malicious purposes.
  4. Privacy concerns: Discord allows users to send private messages, which can be a cause for concern for parents who wish to protect their children’s privacy and ensure they are not engaging in private conversations with strangers.
  5. Limited parental controls: While Discord offers some parental control options, they are not as comprehensive as those available on other platforms, making it more challenging for parents to monitor their children’s activity on the platform fully.
  6. Resource-intensive: Discord can be resource-intensive on some devices, potentially causing performance issues or draining the battery more quickly.
  7. Potential for addiction: As with any social media platform, there is a risk of users becoming overly reliant on or addicted to Discord, leading to excessive screen time and potential negative impacts on mental health, sleep, and overall well-being.

Also Read: Learning Enhancement for Students Who Do Not Have Any Digital Device

Discord Parental Controls

To ensure a safe experience for your child on Discord, it is essential to utilise available parental controls. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Account Privacy Settings: Discord allows users to customise their privacy settings. Ensure your child’s account is set to the highest level of privacy, restricting friend requests, direct messages, and server invitations from unknown users.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication on your child’s Discord account to provide an extra layer of security. This requires a unique code to be entered when logging in, which is sent to a verified device.
  • Monitor Server Participation: Be aware of the servers your child is a part of and ensure they are age-appropriate. If you are concerned about a particular server, ask your child about their involvement and discuss any concerns.
  • Block and Report Users: Teach your child how to block and report inappropriate users or content. Discord has a dedicated Trust and Safety team that reviews and takes action against reported users and content.
  • Communication: Maintain open communication with your child about their online experiences, friends, and interests. Encourage them to come to you with any concerns or questions they may have about their online interactions.

Also Read: Things Students Should Know about Digital Footprint

Discord can be a fun and engaging platform for your child, allowing them to connect with friends and explore their interests. However, as a parent, it is essential to be proactive in ensuring their safety on the platform. EuroSchool prioritises digital safety with robust protocols, encryption, firewall systems, regular audits and awareness for students.

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