What Parents Need to know about Discord

Discord is a communication app that gamers use to communicate while playing video games. Get started by learning what parents need to know about Discord.

Let’s be honest for a minute. As the days go on, our kids make us feel older and older as they use slang we’ve never heard before and use apps that we can’t even begin to understand. Gone are the days of one messaging app to chat with friends on. Now, there are so many messaging apps to choose from that it is hard to keep up. I often wonder how kids manage to keep track of all of their different conversations and groups that they are in. For gamers, one of those apps is Discord.

What is Discord?

Discord is an app used to communicate with others over text, voice and video. It is meant for children 13+ to connect with others and build community. Discord is used for many apps people use to connect daily with one another about a variety of topics. Teens who game creating gaming servers to connect with their friends while they play. The app is driven by their own interest and hobbies rather than an algorithm that chooses what they see. Think Slack for teens/gamers with more features!

Where do you use Discord?

Discord can be downloaded directly from your browser or from the app store. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and more. It’s free to download. You can also use it directly on the web so it doesn’t require a download.

How do you use Discord?

Using Discord is fairly straightforward once you get started. Each user has a Discord tag which is the username. This includes a username followed by # and then 4 digits. Once you are logged in, you click on the ‘Add Friend’ button and type in your friends tag.

What is a Discord Server?

Discord servers are the spaces on Discord. They are made by specific communities and friend groups ie. a hockey team, a group of friends playing Minecraft, a club etc. Most of the servers are smaller in nature and they are created to be ‘invite only’ meaning that you need an invite to join the group. This is designed to keep people from searching and joining these servers. With that said, there are some larger servers that are public. For example, this would be used for a large YouTuber who would stream themselves playing a game while their fans are in the stream. Any user can start a new server for free and invite their friends to it.

There are also different channels. Some channels are meant for text, while other channels are meant for voice. In voice channels, participants can connect over voice or live video. When a live video chat begins, it is called “Going Live”. Text chats are meant for texting, sharing images and uploading files. Like most other messaging apps, users can send direct messages as well as have group messages for up to 10 people. Additionally, users can also share their screen for other participants to see.

What are Discord Bots?

Discord has bots that are meant to ensure Discord is a safe space. There are many different bots with different purposes crawling through Discord at all times. Examples of bots include:

Moderation bots: These bots are designed to automatically manage your server. They will prevent spam, handle user banning and make it easier to use admin commands from the chat too

Translation bots: This bot is a great way for people in different countries to connect and the translation bot

Set up a safe Discord Account

  1. Set up a strong password: As with any online account, ensure that your child’s password is strong and unique for a safe account.
  2. Use 2-factor authentication: Set up 2 factor authentication so that your child gets an alert if someone is trying to login to the account.
  3. Set up your privacy & security settings: In the privacy and security settings you are able to set up what type of content your teen can see, who can contact them etc.
  4. Engage safely: Ensure your kids are using the app safely. Ensuring that they understand the dangers of chatting with people they don’t know, they shouldn’t send explicit images, they shouldn’t engage in video calls with stranger, they need to be cautious clicking on links sent to them, never share their password etc.
  5. Block users that need to be blocked: If someone is cyberbullying your child or treating them in a way that they don’t appreciate, they can block users from their account and should.

Want to keep your child safe on Discord? Try Kidas for free to ensure your child is safe on Discord and to keep track of their Discord habits.