Discord Explained for Parents

5 min read by Bogdi

published 10 luni în urmă, updated 10 luni în urmă

If you find yourself scratching your head wondering what your child is talking about when they mention “Discord,” you have come to the right place. Your main job as a parent is that you want to protect your child from harm. While you may be able to keep your child safe in the real world, there is a world that seems harder to protect them from when they’re online.

The internet has become a place of excitement, knowledge, and, unfortunately, some danger. In this guide, you will learn everything there is to know about a rapidly growing online chat app called Discord. If your child has mentioned talking to their friends on Discord, and you wonder if it is safe, read on. You will find out everything you need to know to help your child stay safe online.

What Is Discord - Should You Be Concerned For Your Child?

Discord is an app that can be on a phone, tablet, or computer to break it down fairly simply. The app allows your child to chat with people from all over the world. They can talk through texting, calling, or even video chats. There are many different communities/servers that allow your child to talk to people with the same interests.

Ok, But What Are Servers?

Now let’s talk about what exactly servers are.

Servers, when talking about Discord, mean the communities within Discord. Each community usually has a topic of interest that they all talk about on the site. They can range from what is going on in school to Pokémon and everything in between.

There are also some mature communities that you must be 18 or older to be in, as mentioned later in the article.

When your child logs in for the first time by creating an account, the site allows them to create a private server (which is recommended). Then they will only add people they know in real life. As long as they remember only to add people that they know, they will be safer.

There are friendly people on the site, but there will always be bad people – predators – when you are talking about an open chat on the internet. The site states the user must be 13 to join, but most parents know children can easily lie about their age. There is no way to prove the age of any user on the site. Therefore, your child could be talking to someone who they think is also 13 but is actually a 40-year-old hiding behind a fake profile.

Is Discord Safe for Your Child to Use?

A child should not use Discord. As mentioned above, a user must be 13 to sign up. There is limited monitoring, so there is a great deal of foul language and inappropriate images posted. There is also an area that users must be 18 and older to enter.

Unfortunately, it is quite easy to get past the part where the app asks about age and enters information.

If your child is mature, 13 or older, Discord can be safe to use. They should know what type of message to steer clear of and when to report a user for inappropriate behavior. It also helps if they feel comfortable with telling you what is going on, but as you probably know, teenagers aren’t likely to open up, afraid that you might cramp their space.

If they are invited to a server, they should not accept it unless they know the person adding them. Curiosity may get the best of them, and they may go onto the server. This doesn’t mean that it will be an unsafe experience as there are many people on there that truly do just want to talk about things they have in common.

It has not been a common occurrence, but there were a few cases of child predators targeting young children. Don’t let that completely scare you, though. Every platform such as:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • Tiktok

All have cases of child predators, and child sex trafficking rings with profiles that are all over the internet. Staying involved in your child’s online activity is important for their safety.

What You Should Do to Keep Your Child Safe on Discord

As you know, your child should be 13 and have a lot of knowledge tossed at them about how to be safe online. You will want to make sure your child does not accept any friend request or server request unless they know the person.

Your child should be taught the difference between an actual person they know in real life (for example, friends at school or family members) and someone they may think they know (such as someone they found on the app). A child can only be safe if they know how to be safe. It is your job as the parent to teach them and stress the importance of internet safety.

How a VPN Can Help With Safety

You can also use a VPN which is a virtual private network. It helps create an extra blanket of security on a public network. A VPN will hide your child’s IP address. An IP address is simply an address that identifies a device on the internet. Think of it as a street address for each of your devices. (Each device has a different address, just as homes would.)

Kids won’t do it on their own, and they will think they are invincible and will be trusting. If they keep this mentality, they open themselves up to danger. It cannot be said enough that it’s incredibly important for you to mold and guide your child to practice safe surfing. They need to learn to be aware of what to steer away from online.

Teaching Your Child to Be Safe on the Internet

There are many ways you can help your child to be safe on the internet. First of all, remember that you are the parent, and you control when your child is online. If they cannot be trusted to follow your rules, you can revoke their perk of using the internet.

Let’s go over some tips on keeping your child safe:

  • Having open communication
  • Having set times, they are allowed online
  • Adding antivirus software to devices
  • If they are caught lying by talking to those they should not be, take their devices. They need to learn to obey what you say about the internet to stay safe

You can also quiz them on what you teach them regularly to see if it is sticking. There is an internet safety quiz found here that they can try. They can try for a higher score, and it can feel like a bit of a game for them.

Regardless of whether it’s on Discord or a different app, you should also teach your child a number of things to keep private such as:

  • Phone numbers
  • Address
  • The town you live in
  • Your name or information
  • Where they go to school
  • Their real name
  • Where you work
  • If you are home alone

With a tiny bit of information, someone could quickly search and find out where the child lives. All they need to do is ask a few key questions. So your child should know they should never give any type of personal information.

Your Child and Discord

Now you know how to keep your child safe while using the chat app Discord. It is on them to remember the safety rules you set and to follow them. If they listen and follow the safety rules, there are no big issues with them using the app to talk to friends. As they get older, they can even talk to others their age, that is, strangers, while still following your rules. They will be safe and make new friends.

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