Discord is one of the most popular chatting and conferencing applications in the world, with over 150 million active users a month. One would assume that such a prominent platform has adequate privacy and security features. However, given the app’s history of security breaches, users still have questions and concerns. Are Discord messages encrypted? How private is Discord, really?
Let’s take a deep dive into Discord’s security features and how they keep your messages from getting into the wrong hands.
Yes, Discord Messages Are Encrypted
Discord messages are encrypted the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) that most websites and applications use to protect their content. It’s essential for platforms that require login credentials, as it directly prevents hackers from gaining access to people’s usernames and passwords.
HTTPS uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to make all communication on the platform asymmetrical and unreadable for unauthorized users.
All HTTPS-protected websites have a green or grey padlock icon next to the URL to signify that it’s secure. A website without HTTPS has a “Not Secure” warning next to the URL as a warning to exercise caution while browsing the site.
You can trust Discord’s HTTPS encryption because it’s a well-known legitimate website, but the padlock doesn’t guarantee that other websites are safe. In fact, hackers can create seemingly legitimate websites and lower people’s guards with the padlock icon. You should still have complete trust in a website before entering credentials or other sensitive information.
Additionally, websites can utilize another more secure method called end-to-end encryption. Are discord messages end-to-end encrypted?
No, Discord Messages Are Not End-to-End Encrypted
Unfortunately, Discord does not use the more secure end-to-end encryption (E2EE) method. End-to-end encryption has one key advantage over regular encryption: the data is only readable if you have a decryption key. Even if you are an employee or account member on an E2EE website, you won’t be able to see specific content without the necessary key.
Any website can use E2EE, but it’s most beneficial for financial documents, legal proceedings, medical records and other highly sensitive information. Discord doesn’t have much need for E2EE because of the security measures it already has in place, such as private text and voice channels that require an invitation to join.
What does a lack of E2EE mean for Discord user security? Not much. The app is still secure, but Discord mods can read all of your messages, even in private channels. This stipulation is necessary for making sure private channels follow the app’s rules and don’t engage in illegal activity.
At the end of the day, Discord is a simple messaging app meant for making friends. Its developers did not intend for it to be an ultra-secure platform for exchanging valuable data. If you want to use a platform with end-to-end encryption, these applications will serve you better:
So, to recap: Discord messages are encrypted, but it doesn’t have end-to-end encryption as of yet. The app’s mods can still read all of your messages.
Discord is Still Safe
Discord is still a safe platform for your chatting and conferencing needs. It has two-factor authentication and strict password requirements. The only personal information you need to provide is your email address.
If a data breach occurs, your email address is the only vulnerable item you need to worry about. That is, assuming you don’t have anything to hide in your private channels.
Discord also offers a bug bounty program that encourages users to report suspicious activity. The response time for bug reports is no more than 24 hours, and Discord makes constant updates to address the more serious offenses.
Always Exercise Caution Online
When it comes to your online privacy, always err on the side of caution. Discord messages are encrypted and private channels are secure enough, but that doesn’t mean you should reveal your deepest secrets. Keep your personal information to yourself and use the app for its intended purpose: to find people with similar interests and make friends.
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