Discord

Discord

Review date: 04/23/2020

Discord is more of a community with video call features built in than it is a stand-alone video call app. Initially a place for gamers to meet, chat and share, Discord has grown to over 100 million users and its communities now include everything from book clubs, dance classes, study groups, anime, music, and more. Discord has message-board features and voice features as well as video chat features and is available as an app on Android and iOS, as well as a download on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Users can also login through their browser. Discord has had problems with toxic content, harassment, human trafficking, and other online crimes, so if this is something your kids are using (it probably is), it's good to keep an eye out.

What could happen if something goes wrong

When we first published our research, Discord didn't meet our Minimum Security Standards because it didn't require a strong password to protect your account. Our researcher was able to login with the password "111111". Since we've published our research, Discord has updated their password requirement and now requires a strong password. We are happy to see this change on Discord's part and have updated their product to now meet our Minimum Security Standards. Discord does collect a lot of data on its users and says it can share that data with third-parties. Likely the biggest problem with Discord is its history of toxic communities, harassment, and predators. Getting sucked into alt-right hatred, accidentally stumbling across a porn ring, or getting harrassed by misogynistic gamers are all real concerns for people on Discord who aren't careful.

Privacy

What is required to sign up?

A phone number can be associated with your account for account recovery purposes, but is not required for account creation.

What data does it collect?

How does it use this data?

How are your recordings handled?

Discord does not have any built-in recording features.

Alerts when calls are being recorded?

N/A

Discord does not support recording within its platform. Someone could use a screen recorder to record video chats in Discord, however.

Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?

No

Discord is not HIPAA compliant

Links to privacy information

Can I control it?

Host controls

The host can start a chat, invite people to the chat, start a call, create a channel or as Discord calls it a "server," and remove and add people to a channel.

Is it easy to learn and use the features?

Yes

Discord certainly has a learning curve. It can be overwhelming at first. It does provide brief descriptions of what every feature or icon is for in the app. It also has a support website where it answers questions users have about using its features. But plan on giving yourself some time to figure it all out.

Security

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Discord as a platform is not intended for encrypted communications. It does use standard encryption, but does not provide end-to-end encryption of its video chats.

Strong password

Yes

We updated this from a "No" to a "Yes" becauce Discord recently update their password requirements so that a strong password is now required to sign in. We applaud them for making this change.

Security updates

Yes

Discord performs multiple updates per month

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Discord does have a bug bounty program.

Privacy policy

Yes

https://discordapp.com/privacy

Updates

Discord privacy tips that you should use in 2020
Cyber News
This article will give you all that you need to know about staying private when using Discord and having no fear when linking up with other players.
Parents' Ultimate Guide to Discord
Common Sense Media
Is Discord safe? How does it work? And what does it have to do with Fortnite? Here's everything you need to know about this popular chat app for gamers.

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