Discord is a free application for both PCs and mobile phones that provides people a wonderful platform to chat, voice call, and video call in real-time. Combining the features of Skype and Reddit, Discord is moving ahead from a gamers-only platform to a social networking site for all types of communities, including those with non-gaming interests.
Discord, now, is also an easy-to-use group chatting tool for friends. Being a parent, you should know what your kids are doing online, whom they are talking to, and what social sites they are using. Read till the end to understand everything about this platform and how you can monitor your kids if they are using Discord.
How Old Should Your Kid Be To Use Discord?
Although there is no age verification process when you sign up on Discord, they say that one should be 13 years old to join the platform. Due to it being an open chat platform, there is a minimum age restriction of 13 years. Since everything on Discord is user-generated, there is plenty of inappropriate content that is not suitable for kids. This content can include swearing, graphic language, and inappropriate images.
In addition, Discord also has NSFW channels and servers that consist of content not appropriate for kids. These channels and servers require the users to be 18 or older, but it is easy to go through that verification.
Is Discord Safe?
If you are worried about your kid’s safety, don’t worry because there are privacy settings that you can set so your kid can use Discord safely. But yes, there’s always a risk when using sites and apps with open chat and user-generated content. The safest option here is to accept friend requests and participate in private servers with friends or people you know.
Although the chances are rare, there have been several cases where predators have targeted kids using Discord’s public servers to send messages. But the good thing is that server moderators (and other users) are often quick to monitor this kind of behavior.
Privacy Settings for Discord
Discord provides a number of privacy and safety settings that enable users to control who can send them direct messages (DMs) or friend requests. They also offer Safe DM that can automatically scan and delete the messages containing explicit content. However, this feature is not entirely foolproof.
The best thing about Discord is that it lets users decide whether the app can collect and use their data for analytics or customization purposes. This is a great thing compared to other social networking platforms that provide no control over your data.
Parental Controls for Discord
At this time, there are no dedicated parental controls on the platform, which means there is no way for parents to password-protect the privacy settings or restrict some content within the application on their own.
Top Tips to Stay Safe on Discord
1. Explore the features and Settings
Sitting down with your kid and exploring the application or game is a great way to learn about its features and content. You can ask them to avoid certain groups or severs and ask who they are talking to on the app.
2. Talk to Your Child about Who They’re Talking To
As you already know, Discord is an open chat platform where one can chat with other users individually or as a group. There are thousands of public servers on the platform, and they are particularly popular with the gaming community to share gaming videos and tips.
As these are public servers, your kid might comment or chat with anyone they don’t know. We recommend that they only chat with people they met before, for example, their school friends.
If you allow your kids to use public servers, make sure to monitor them regularly, ask them who they are talking to online and what servers they have joined. Tell them if someone asks for their personal accounts, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, or Snapchat, they should come and tell you right away.
3. Talk to Your Child About What They’re Sharing
It is important to tell your kids not to share anything private with strangers. Some predators might ask them about their family members, where they live, and more personal things that shouldn’t be shared with strangers. Remind them not to share private things, including:
- Names, email addresses, phone numbers, home address, location, school names.
- Other people’s personal information.
- Invitation to join private group chats.
- Private photos.
Safety Principles of Discord
Following are some of the principles of Discord that make them a safe platform for everyone.
- Data Privacy
Discord is a huge platform where millions of people talk to each other every day. Discord clearly states that it doesn’t sell your data or share it with third parties for advertising purposes.
- Public Safety
They are serious about public safety, and therefore, they don’t read or scan your private messages. However, they can do it for safety reasons or if they smell explicit content. If some issue arises, they investigate it properly, review the situation, and take necessary action.
- Tools To Control Your Experience
Discord provides tools for server owners to moderate their controls to enhance their experience. These tools allow them to enforce their rules to make their server a unique community.
Teen Safety Settings on Discord
1. Explicit Media Content Settings
This menu allows users to decide what type of content they are comfortable seeing. Being a parent, you can ask your child to mark explicit content so it doesn’t show when using the app.
For kids under 18, the “Keep me Safe” setting is best. This allows Discord to scan all images and messages sent to your DM and block the explicit content right away.
2. Direct Message (DM) Settings
As the name suggests, these settings allow users to choose who can contact them in the DM. You can easily access this setting by going to User Settings->Privacy and Safety ->Server Privacy Default.
By default, if your teen is in a server with someone else, they can receive DMs. You can block those DMs from users on the server that aren’t on their friends’ list. For a public server your teen is a member of, make sure tochoose the option of blocking DMs from users who aren’t on your teen’s friends list.
3. Friend Request Settings
This menu allows your teen to determine who they can add as a friend on Discord. Users should only accept requests from people they already know and trust. If your teen doesn’t know any person, they can reject the request. Moreover, they can always add them later if the request was rejected by mistake.
A user has three options to add as a friend: Everyone, Friends of Friends, and Server Members. If you don’t want your teen to get any requests at all, you can deselect all three options. However, your teen can still send requests to other Discord members.
If someone is messaging your teen or bothering him/her, you can block the user easily. Blocking removes the user from your friend list, hides their messages and comments in any shared servers, and prevents them from sending messages to your teen.
If your teen has blocked someone, but they create a new account and contact them, he/she should immediately report the user to the Trust & Safety team.
- Deleting an Account
If you have the username and password for an account, you can delete it at any time. If you cannot access the account directly but have access to your teen’s email address, you can email the support team of Discord at email@example.com and request them to delete the account.
Discord is a great platform that connects people to other people having the same interests and likings. It used to be the best platform for gamers, but now they are moving towards being a social networking site for all types of communities and audiences. If you are worried about your kid’s safety and security on Discord, you have access to some settings to prevent any mishaps from happening. Besides, you can always talk to your teen, tell him/her all your concerns, and sort out things bothering you regarding Discord.