Parenting

Is Discord Safe for Your Kids? Complete Parental Guide to Discord

Discord is a free messaging application popular among gamers. It was developed by Discord Inc. in 2015 to bring people together who love gaming.

It allows players to communicate with each other while playing a game in real-time. Users can also create a Discord group called a Server with people having similar interests or playing in the same game.

Discord also allows users to share non-gaming-related content such as streaming movies and TV shows in a group through a screen sharing feature. On Discord, your kid might interact with strangers, and you never know what kind of people your kid will meet on Discord. So, is Discord safe for kids? This blog will help you to know how it works and how to set parental control on it.

How Does it Work?

Discord functions similar to other chat applications like Skype, Teamspeak with additional features. It offers both types of communication, text and voice chat. In Discord, group chats are called Servers. They can send messages to each other individually and in group chats. To know how Discord works, first, you need to have a clear idea of the server.

In Discord, you can create a server with up to 10 to 50 people. A server can be made public and private; it all depends on one who creates a group. If it is public, then anyone can join a group. And on a private server, only people with a link can join. When you invite your friends to the private server, they will get a link to join it. You can also join multiple servers at a time.

Furthermore, servers can be divided into several channels, voice and text channels, to discuss specific topics. The person who creates a Server can set ground rules for a group about what kind of content is not allowed and set limits on how many people can join their Server.

What is an Appropriate Age to be on Discord?

Though Discord does not verify a user’s age while signing up, it is not recommended for kids under 13. Discord is an open chat platform, and there might be plenty of inappropriate content that your children can see.

With its increasing popularity, Discord is not only used for gaming content. Most people use it to interact with strangers on public servers. As it is all user-created, your child might join adult groups and see adult content and graphic languages. So, it is important to watch their activities.

Is Discord Safe for Kids?

Discord can be a great platform for predators to lure young kids. Discord offers open chat features where users can communicate with anyone in a group. Since anyone can be on this platform and lie about their age, predators can start chatting with your kids in a friendly manner and then move the conversation to an unmoderated direct message. Some of the Potential Risks for kids on Discord:

● Mature Content and Offensive Language

With its growing popularity, a lot of people are using this app, including kids and adults. As it is an open chat platform, anyone can easily chat with each other. While playing games, adult players might use offensive language, which your kids can learn. If your kid joins a group of adults, there is a high possibility that your child may be exposed to mature and inappropriate material.

● Cyberbullying and Harassments

Cyberbullying is a serious issue that people experience while interacting with someone online. In-game abuse is common in gaming, and fellow players might deliberately target your kids to insult them. Fellow players may use offensive language or make fun of your kid for not playing the game properly, which can lower your child’s self-esteem. Your children may be victims of cyberbullying, which can result in depression and anxiety.

● Online Predators and Scammers

There are always bad people lurking around looking for younger kids. Predators will use this app to lure your kids into their trap. Kids are naive; they don’t know what is good or bad. Scammers will trick your kids into entering credit card details or download malicious software or explicit content with these messages. Scammers may also hack your child’s device.

● Too Much Screen Time

On Discord Even if kids are not playing, they can still watch others playing games. You have no idea how much time your child spends on their phone watching gaming videos. It can raise the risk of eye problems and sleeping problems. Kids are becoming more addicted to online games these days, which might have a negative impact on their physical health as well.

How to Keep Kids Safe on Discord?

It is typically a good idea to talk about something unpleasant that happens online. Tell your child how to use Discord appropriately as part of an ongoing internet discussion, regardless of their age.

Discord can be safe to some extent if you use the appropriate privacy setting. But there is always a risk when it comes to open chat platforms.

So you should teach your children about online risks and their impacts. You should tell them the importance of age restrictions on social media platforms. Although Discord does not have parental controls, it offers specific tools that can help your child use Discord safely.

Block unwanted communication

The best way to keep your kids safe on Discord is by telling them to accept friend requests only from people they know and avoid joining servers that are not verified or managed by their friends.

Discord also includes “Safe Direct Messaging,” which deletes messages with improper contents automatically. With this setting, you can decide who can add your child as a friend and send messages. You can block unwanted interactions on Discord by following the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Open the Discord app on your child’s device. Click on the User Settings menu, and select “Privacy & Safety.”

Step 2: Scroll down to find “Server Privacy Default” and toggle the switch to turn off the “Allow direct messages from server members.” Even if you turn off this setting, you can communicate on the Public Server.

Step 3: In the “Privacy & Safety” option, you will seethe “Who can add you as a friend” option, turn off each option depending on your preference.

Block inappropriate content

If you enable this option, all explicit and unsuitable content will be scanned and filtered away. Follow the procedures outlined below to enable this option on Discord.

Step 1: In the same option, “Privacy & Safety,” select “Safe Direct Messaging”

Step 2: Now, check the “Keep Me Safe box” to block all explicit content.

Turn on two-factor authentication

On Discord, you may also enable Two-Factor Authentication. You can link your Discord account on your child’s device and allows multi-device syncing. Every time your kid tries to log in to Discord, you will receive a code. As a result, it will prevent your child from signing onto Discord without using a generated code. However, some tech-savvy kids can turn this setting off.

Use Parental Control Apps

You can use Parental Control applications if you’re worried about your child accessing Discord despite age restrictions. They are specifically developed for parents to keep track of what their children do on their devices. Here I have explained some of the Parental Control apps that might help you to manage your kid’s online activities:

  • MobileSpy

MobileSpy is one of the best Parental Control apps. It includes all the features that parents need to control their children’s activities. You can limit their screen time, track their locations and monitor each message they send and receive. You can also restrict the Discord app and other inappropriate sites.

  • Norton Family

If your kid uses Discord on more than one device then Norton Family is an ideal app for keeping track of their internet activity. With only one subscription, you can install Norton Family on many devices. You can remotely view your kid’s mobile activities from your device. This app is best for you to track your kids’ online activities if they use more than one device.

  • mSpy

With mSpy, you can block apps that seem age-inappropriate to keep your child safe from online predators and distractions. MSpy is a software that allows you to monitor what your child is doing on their phone. It has an Advanced Key Logger” function, which helps you see what your kid is typing on their device.

  • Net Nanny

Due to its excellent web filter feature, most of the parents prefer Net Nanny. If you use this app, it keeps you updated about your child’s content on their phone. You can also limit their daily screen timing. Net Nanny also has a feature that detects and hides profanity on websites. It works on both Android and iOS devices.

Conclusion

Discord is the most used platform to interact with friends while playing games. In addition to gaming and chatting, it also offers a “Go Live” feature for streaming online movies with friends. However, your children may come across a lot of bad people and improper information on this site.

So, parents need to monitor their children’s online activities to protect them against frauds that can occur. It is your responsibility to keep your children safe while using chat apps like Discord. You can do this by teaching your children some online ethics. Tell them not to share personal information with unknown people they encounter online. And you can also use the apps mentioned above to monitor your kid’s online activities.

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