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Is Discord Safe? How to Protect Your Privacy and Security?

author

Dominic David

Aug 28, 2023 | 7 min read
  • Privacy

 

Overview

 

Discord is a popular online chat platform primarily used by gamers and other interest communities. It allows users to create and join servers, communicate with other users through voice, video, and text, and share various content. With over 300 million registered users, Discord is a massive online community.

 

But is Discord safe? Does it pose a risk of leaking your personal information or exposing you to threats like cyberbullying, harassment, scams, etc.? In this article, we will explore how Discord works, the security risks it carries, and how to mitigate them.

 

Contents 

 

How Discord works?

Is Discord safe?

How to mitigate Discord's security risks?

 

How Discord works?

 

Discord is a cloud-based application that utilizes WebRTC technology for real-time voice and video communication. WebRTC is an open-source web communication protocol that enables direct peer-to-peer data transfers between browsers and applications, without the need for intermediary servers. This enhances communication efficiency and quality but also introduces some security vulnerabilities .

 

Discord also employs an audio codec called Opus , which automatically adjusts audio quality to adapt to different network conditions. This ensures smooth voice calls but may also expose audio data to interception or tampering.

 

For text chat, Discord uses a markup language called Markdown , which makes it easy for users to format text, add links, images, code snippets, etc. Markdown is a user-friendly language but can be abused to send malicious or inappropriate content .

 

Is Discord safe?

 

Discord is not entirely a secure platform and carries several primary security risks:

① Privacy leaks

Discord collects and stores users' personal information such as usernames, email addresses, IP addresses, device information, etc. This information may be used by Discord for analysis, advertising, or other purposes, and may be vulnerable to theft or misuse by hackers or third-party entities. Additionally, other users on Discord can potentially access your personal information through social engineering, phishing links, malware, etc.

② Cyberbullying

Discord hosts various servers of different types and sizes, some of which may contain hostile or unfriendly users. These users may engage in verbal abuse, mockery, threats, intimidation, etc., causing psychological stress or harm. Discord also has servers dedicated to spreading hate, violence, pornography, etc., which can have adverse effects or triggers on users.

③ Scam risks

Discord also has servers or users dedicated to conducting scam activities. They may induce you to provide personal, financial, or other sensitive information or trick you into clicking on links or files containing malware or viruses. These scams can result in financial loss or identity theft consequences.

④ Legal risks

Discord also hosts servers or users engaging in illegal or infringing behavior. They may engage in illicit trading, distribute pirated content, infringe copyrights or trademarks, etc. These activities can lead to legal disputes or sanctions.

 

How to mitigate Discord's security risks?

 

To mitigate Discord's security risks, you can take the following measures:

① Protect your personal information

Do not disclose sensitive information such as your real name, address, phone number, bank account details, etc., on Discord. Avoid clicking on links or files from strangers or suspicious sources. When registering or logging into Discord, use a dedicated email and password instead of your commonly used credentials. Adjust your privacy settings on Discord, such as disabling direct messages, filtering out inappropriate content, hiding online status, etc.

② Choose appropriate servers

Avoid joining or creating servers indiscriminately, especially those containing hate, violence, pornography, or similar content. Before joining or creating a server, research its theme, rules, members, atmosphere, and whether it has reasonable management and supervision mechanisms. If you encounter any inappropriate or illegal content or behavior on a server, promptly leave or report it.

③ Stay vigilant and rational

Do not blindly trust any messages or solicitations from strangers on Discord, especially those involving money, gifts, prizes, etc. If you encounter any users attempting to deceive, threaten, or intimidate you, block or report them immediately. If you feel uncomfortable or harmed by any user, seek help or support from friends, family, or professionals.

④ Use a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to browse and communicate anonymously and securely on the internet. Utilizing a VPN helps hide your real IP address and location, preventing Discord or other third-party entities from tracking or monitoring your online activities. It can also bypass certain regional restrictions or censorship, granting you access to more content and servers. One excellent VPN service provider is MetroVPN , which offers fast, stable, and secure VPN connections, enhancing your Discord experience.

 

Overall, while Discord may pose certain security risks, taking appropriate precautions and following best practices can help protect your privacy and security on the platform.

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