Discord has seen massive growth these past few years. While that’s good news for the platform itself, the influx of new users has brought its fair share of scammers as well. You need to learn how to spot a Discord scam if you want to stay safe. Or, if you’re a server admin, to keep your community members out of harm’s way.
Follow the link above to learn the best practices for keeping your server free of scammers. For more personal cybersecurity measures, check out the tips below.
Use Discord’s Built-in Privacy Protections
First things first, let’s see what you can do without resorting to any third party solutions. You’ll need to mess with some of the Privacy & Safety settings within the Discord app. Thankfully, there’s a full image guide included in the link at the start of the article, so definitely check that out.
Next, focus on adding two-factor authentication (2FA) to your Discord account. Google Authenticator, Authy, QR codes, the choice is yours. Ideally, you should avoid basic SMS authentication, as there are multiple vulnerabilities hackers can exploit in this case. Still, it’s better than nothing at all. Just don’t forget to upgrade to a more secure solution later down the road.
Naturally, privacy options can only do so much to protect you if you get hacked. Be mindful of what private details you share in public chatrooms or through DMs. Your name, address, emails, and other identifying info can be used in doxxing attempts, or to compromise other, more sensitive accounts.
Protect Your Data and Location with a VPN
Cyberbullying and cyber stalking are huge problems nowadays. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, nearly 60% of teens in the U.S. have experienced online bullying or harassment in some form.
A common technique supposed “hackers” use is to discover the victims’ IP address with a script or IP-grabbing link. Now, your IP contains details about your country, city, and even ZIP code, so scammers may use this information as a scare tactic. It’s not exactly fun for an Internet stranger to start saying they know where you live, especially if you haven’t posted your location on any linked accounts on Discord.
Always avoid suspicious links on Discord, even if they’re posted by friends you trust. Their account may have been compromised by a hacker beforehand, and could be used to bait others into phishing scams. Use the Google link checker if you suspect something’s amiss.
To avoid getting caught off guard, you can always mask your IP address by using a VPN. Your real IP will be replaced with a new one depending on the region you connect to. This allows you to access geo-blocked content on Netflix and other platforms as well.
More importantly, VPNs encrypt your network data – scramble it in transit, essentially. That way it becomes impossible to read by outsiders such as ISPs that want to sell your data, hackers, or even most government surveillance.
As you can see, VPNs are highly flexible cybersecurity tools that should offer you some peace of mind on Discord and the Internet at large.
Mitigate Damage from Being Hacked
If you do fall for a Discord scam and have your account compromised, it’s not the end of the world. However, you do need to take the following advice into consideration:
- Never link payment methods or other social accounts (Twitter, Steam, Twitch, etc.) to Discord.
- Use a password manager to create strong passwords for all the different services you use. Never reuse passwords; don’t make it easy for hackers to steal your other accounts.
- Consider using a separate email for non-essential services like Discord. Providers such as ProtonMail and Tutanota offer free encrypted email without the need for phone verification, which is a huge plus for privacy.
All this should minimize how much damage cyber attackers can do if they’ve successfully hacked your Discord account.