Discord: A guide for parents

Violence & hatred

Medium Risk

Suicide & self-harm

Medium Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

Medium Risk

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why (and be prepared for an unhappy child).

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

Discord have created their own Parent’s Guide. In it they give three recommendations to make your teen’s account is as safe as possible:

1. Choose a secure, strong password
2. Set who can send you direct messages and friend requests
3. Block inappropriate content

Discuss these with tips with your child and go through the steps together to make sure you both understand how to stay safe.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is a stranger online any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of their body
  • gossip

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Discord?

• Different servers have different rules – some of these will allow inappropriate content or behaviour
• You can have contact and communication from people you don’t know, especially on public or large servers
• Some people can be rude, mean or sexual
• There are lots of ways to communicate – groups, servers, direct messages, voice channels and calls

People can just enter your chat room if they get their hands on the code and spam you with inappropriate, mean or sexual things.

Child, 12

What do children and young people like about Discord?

• If you use private servers or groups you can choose to only add your friends, and other people won’t be able to join
• There are filters such as NSFW (Not Safe for Work), which filter explicit material
• To add someone as a friend you need to know their username and a unique code, which stops random people being able to add you
• It’s a good way to get tips for playing certain games

Large servers can have many people within them, and entering them can be easy. However when using private servers/channels, users are safe with those they trust and can select who to contact and who to block.

Boy, 18

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Parents

Signing up to Discord

I just put in the username I wanted, an email address and password, and clicked create.

Mother of a 17 year old

Reporting on Discord

You just click the name and press block on the popup menu, either in friend list or chat. Seems quite intuitive to me.

Father of an 18 year old

Privacy settings on Discord

Once I managed to find my account settings this was easy to do.

Father of an 18 year old son

Safety and support on Discord

The rules and advice were easy to find, but I had to look for them. They weren’t shown by default.

Father of an 18 year old

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