Has your child started using Discord to chat with their friends? Or maybe your child has asked to install the app, and you have a few questions: is Discord safe? What age is Discord for? Is it appropriate for my child? We answer these questions and share some tips on keeping your child safe online.
What is Discord?
Discord is a chat app that allows people to send messages, join group chats (called ‘servers’), add friends, and talk over voice or video. Discord has been around since 2015, but has become much more popular since the COVID-19 pandemic and is now a major and well-known chat option.
How does Discord work?
Discord works like a lot of other chat or video call options such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, but with a more casual approach. Discord lets you talk to people on your friend list or people who message you directly. You can also talk on servers with other people, who could be strangers from all around the world.
To use Discord, your child would have to make an account. When they make an account, they will be able to pick a username, which does not have to be their real name. Using a nickname is safer than using their real name, as it can be unsafe to give out personal details online.
Who is Discord aimed at?
Discord is aimed primarily at gamers, though other groups use it as well. Discord is often used by gamers since it allows people to Livestream the games they are playing within Discord – that is, letting other people watch the game as they play it. Discord's primary user base is aged from 13 to 35.
Since the age range for Discord includes adults, there is often mature content posted on some servers. These will typically be hidden behind a warning, but can still be accessed pretty easily in most cases.
What is a Discord server?
A discord server is a bit like a message board or group chat. Any Discord user can create their own Discord server and add other users to it. People can join Discord servers through direct invites, or by accessing an invite link if the server is open to the public. Because of this, there is no guarantee that the other users in a discord server will be people who your children know.
How old do you have to be to create an account on Discord?
Discord’s terms and conditions state that you have to be 13 or older to make an account. However, Discord only asks for a date of birth to prove a user’s age. This means that some children could use a fake date of birth to make an account even though they are younger than 13. This can be a big concern to parents as it gives younger children access to an app where they could find unsuitable content.
In order to keep your child safe, it is always worth making sure that they’re only using age-appropriate websites, chat platforms, and apps. To help keep your child safe online, you could look into monitoring their phone use. We also have a lot of great tips for how to keep your child safe on their mobile phone, including how to make sure they cannot use inappropriate internet services.
Is Discord safe for my child?
Discord can be a safe chat platform for your child to use, but it also has risks. However, there are some ways to help limit how strangers can contact your child on Discord. You can also teach your children about the danger of talking to strangers.
Is there a chat on Discord?
Yes, Discord has a wide range of chat options. As well as text chat, there is also voice chat and video chat. All these options are available in private messages with friends and on private and public servers.
Is there a Discord app?
Yes, there is a Discord app as well as the in-browser version. The Discord app can be downloaded for PC, phones, and tablets. You can even find the Discord app on some gaming consoles, such as the Steam Deck. The app has all the features that the in-browser version has.
Can my child share photos and videos on Discord?
Yes, your child can share and receive photos and videos on Discord. For video, there is also the option for video chat using the webcam or in-built phone camera on your child’s device.
Your child will be able to see most pictures and videos shared on their servers. If someone who is not a friend tries to send them a direct message, Discord can block photos or videos.
Are there parental controls for Discord?
There are no specific parental controls on Discord, but there are some options to help protect your child. In the Privacy & Safety settings, you can make it so that Discord scans direct messages for explicit content. You can also limit who can add your child as a friend. If you have concerns, you can also look at parental control apps for Apple and Android phones, or other ways of setting up parental controls on iPhones or Android phones.
Find out more about GoHenry’s parental controls
GoHenry lets you put in parental controls to set where your children can spend their money online. Unfortunately, cyber crimes and scams have never been as common as they are today. With GoHenry, parents can choose where their child can spend money online, and limit the type, frequency and amount of each transaction. GoHenry prepaid debit cards for kids also have an automatic safety feature to stop your child from using the card in shops with an over-18 merchant code.