We are sure you’ve heard the younger generations talk or use Discord. It is a VoIP and instant messaging social platform that offers lots of abilities such as voice calls, texting, image and video sharing, video chatting, and more. It was initially released in 2015 and since then it has been a staple in the gaming world. Once famous Teamspeak is now almost forgotten while Skype is only used in professional ambiances. Because Discord has such a young demographic, it is expected of them to try and keep the platform as safe as possible. So, let’s see their security team at work:
Over 55 million accounts banned and 68 thousand servers shut down
Recently, Discord published a report on their bans and server shutdowns during the first six months of 2022. These numbers have indeed happened in that time frame which should be alarming information to all of us. However, having been on discord for more than five years, it is not shocking. Only last year was an option added to report singular messages. So, how did this happen and how did Discord allow it?
Well, their explanation was that majority of these accounts were banned because of spam-related offenses. This could be indeed true. If you’re a part of servers with over 1000 members, it is almost guaranteed that you will get spam messages from AI accounts. Those range from NSFW content to simple self-promotion.
The accounts that aren’t AI spam however and their related offenses happen on all social media. So, why have I decided to mention this report?
Server shutdowns are a sinister thing
Discord has a problem because it is very easy to group lots of nasty people together. Let me explain; if someone is, let’s say, a Nazi on Twitter, their account will be reported quite soon and they will be removed from the platform. However, on Discord, that may not even happen. Here’s why; because Discord has servers, of which many are private, it is easy to organize such people in those same servers. Inside, since the members are usually like-minded and participate in hate speech, harassment, and other things, they will not report each other which leads to Discord being a perfect place for illegal activities, child harassment, platform manipulation, and just a place for right-wing extremists in general.
If you want to protect yourself and your kids, it is important to be aware of this information since the first step in security on Discord is making sure that the servers they’re in are appropriate. Things to look out for: right-wing extremism, religious fundamentalists, NSFW, gore, and dating servers.
Common scams on Discord
In the last two years, with Discord gaining more popularity, there has been a major rise in scams that will take over your account and send malicious messages to your friends or further spread the hacking tool.
It goes without saying that you should not click on links that unknown people send you. But, on Discord, you should be very careful even with people you know. Some of these scams will grab your IP or your account. All it takes is clicking on them. So, here are some you may come across:
A quite recent scam running around on Discord is when a stranger or a hacker using your friend’s account will send you a download asking you to test their game or something similar. Not just on Discord, but anywhere, make sure not to download any suspicious files, especially in form of zips.
Links that play on your emotions
Sadly, young people and kids can be quite naive and click on such links. There have been quite a few variations of such messages and it’s best to not click on anything like this, even if it’s a discord invite.
A lot of people fall for such scams since they often come from Bots that look convincing or their friends compromised accounts. It’s important to remember that things that are too good to be true- probably aren’t true. Also, nitro isn’t the only thing these scammers offer. Pay attention to any crypto or NFT giveaways!
Sadly, kids aren’t taught enough about safety on the internet and often become victims of blackmail without knowing what to do. Oftentimes, children will be afraid of their parents finding out and will give in to the blackmailers that have some sort of personal info about them whether it be pictures, address, contact, or IP. Make sure that your child knows that they can always come to you with any problem and that you will help them without any judgment.
It’s impossible to cover everything in one article. New scams arrive every day and it’s really difficult to keep up with all of them. The best advice we can give anyone is to not click on suspicious links or downloads. Along with that, servers and people you or your kids engage with are very important. However, being overprotective with your children on the internet will only lead in the opposite direction. It’s important to find the right balance. Also, one more thing – Never give out personal information!!! :)