A Parent's Guide to Discord. Is it safe in 2023?
Is Discord safe for kids? How does it work?
Here we come up with an ultimate parent guide to the Discord app.
If you have teens in your house, there is a high chance you have Discord. Here we are not talking about the altercation; we mean the Discord application. Designed to create and handle public and private communication, Discord provides various communication services such as voice calls, text messages, video calls, and persistent chat rooms.
Although the Discord application was officially released in 2015, it still lacks advanced parental control features. Though it is popular among gamers in its initial days, as of 2022, people use it to find groups (servers in Discord term) related to politics, school work, celebrities, or finance. It has a high-tech design.
People stream movies and games with their friends on Discord. The Discord application can be iffy since it allows users to create public and private servers. Parents need to keep themselves up to date. Let's discuss some topics that help parents know more about discord applications.
What is Discord?
Discord is a free mobile application initially popular among the gaming community. It runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and windows. Users communicate with each other through text messages, voice messages, and audio/video calls.
Not just only the topic related to gaming but also anime, series, and politics are discussed on Discord servers. It is easy for the users to communicate through Discord. Users can send voice, text, image, or video via the discord app. There are 150 million monthly active users in Discord till 2021.
What are Discord servers?
Discord servers are a discrete collection of channels. They mainly focus on one single topic. The servers can have up to 800,000 members. The two types of servers on Discord are private servers and public servers. You need an invitation link for private servers, while for the public servers, anyone can join it.
There is no in-app way to search for the servers on Discord. After you get an invitation from others, then only it is possible. And in 2020, Discord uncovered a new feature called "Community Servers."
What is the age restriction of Discord?
The children can connect with strangers and trap themselves in the problem. Also, they might be victims of cyberbullying and harassment. So, there is an age restriction to protect them from such a situation.
Although there are no methods in Discord to verify the user's age upon Signup, according to Discord Terms and Conditions, the minimum age to be a Discord user is 13 years. In addition to that, there are the channels labeled "NSFW" (Not Safe For Work), which are restricted to minor accounts.
Common Sense Media also recommends that Discord users should be a minimum age of 13.
The user must confirm to be at least 18 years before entering such channels. It is better not to have a discord account in their teenage. Discord makes it tough for the Discord account holder to change the birthday by submitting a support request.
Privacy/Security Settings on Discord:
Though the Discord application allows users to share their views and thoughts, it can be problematic if your kids get into an argument with another Discord account holder. That's why it is necessary to manage the security settings.
Block Explicit Media Content In Discord:
Since people in the Discord application can create public groups, some can share inappropriate content. And if your child is in such a group, they might get exposed to such content. That's why protect your kids from seeing explicit content by blocking such content in Discord.
The steps to block explicit content in the Discord application:
- Open the settings of the Discord application by clicking on the cog icon. It is near the button left side of the username and avatar.
- There is a list of options on the left side of the screen. Among them, select Privacy & Safety.
- Tap on the "Keep me Safe" option under the "Safe Direct Messaging."
This feature will ensure the content sent through direct messages is scanned and filtered out. If the direct message contains sexually explicit content, abusive, or violent, then Discord will automatically remove that message.
Block Unwanted Communication In Discord:
You can block unwanted communication such as direct messages and friend requests in Discord through the "Privacy & Safety" tab (User Settings > Privacy & Safety).
- Scroll down to "Server Privacy Defaults."
- By default, "Allow Direct Messages From Server Members" is on. So, toggle off the "Settings" to prevent people on a server from direct messaging you or your kid.
- You can still communicate publicly in the text and voice the rooms on the server.
- Now you will encounter a prompt that asks whether you also want to block Direct Messages (DMs) from people on an existing server.
- Choose the option "Yes/No," according to your preference.
Users can send private messages to an individual person on Discord.
Managing Friends (Friend Request settings):
- Click on the “Privacy & Settings.”
- Scroll down at "Who can add you as a friend."
- To restrict others from easily texting you, toggle off all the available options. But it will not prevent the users from chatting with others on public channels. Also, no matter what is the friend request settings, the user must approve the friend request.
In addition to managing the direct messaging and friend requests settings, you can also block the users on Discord. Discord allows blocking such persons when the person sends a threat message or tries to blackmail your kids.
When you block the users, you can't see their profiles and post new content. Also, the blocked user will not be able to send you the direct messages.
Steps to block the users from Desktop:
- To bring up a menu, right-click on the user's @Username.
- And tap on the Block option in the menu.
Steps to block the users from Mobile:
- Click on the user's username to bring up their profile.
- Click on the upper right corner's three dots to bring up a menu.
- From the menu, select the option "Block."
If they constantly send you harmful content, you can report it to Discord's support team.
Turn on Two-Factor Authentication in Discord:
Turning on two-factor authentication in Discord will somehow work as parental control, but it is not actually the parental control offered by Discord. And to turn on the two-factor authentication in Discord, you have to connect your Discord application with your mobile phone.
But if your kids are tech-savvy, they can turn off all these features. So for better safety, you can use the parental control application.
Are there any parental controls on Discord?
You can manage the privacy and security settings on Discord, but there are not any particular parental controls on Discord.
Parental controls applications such as MobileSpy.io help you to set screen time limits, track GPS monitor, block inappropriate content, and monitor social media on your child's phone.
You need to download the best parental control or spy application from the internet and install it on the target phone. Once the process is complete, you can block inappropriate explicit content, limit screen time, and remotely monitor their entire phone activities.
That means not only the Discord app, with the help of parental control application, but you can also keep your child safe from every issue related to digital electronics.
Is Discord Safe for Kids?
Discord is safe for kids when the security settings are managed properly. Users must follow the proper guidelines to make it safe like other online applications.
You already know that the safe way to use the Discord application is to be friends with only known people and the participant of known private servers.
Both parents and children should know how to deal with the predators and scammers who they found on Discord. In addition to that, the parental control application helps you to make Discord safe for kids.
Discord app doesn't offer parental control on its own, but you can manage some privacy settings. This article covers a parent's guide to discord apps which helps them make Discord safe for kids.
Discord application is not bad or unsafe in itself, but it depends on how a person uses it. Parents need to guide their children to treat others better if they want others to treat them better. Kids can enjoy using the Discord application under their parent's supervision.