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How to stay safe on Discord and Social Media

Discord is one of a kind way to connect with communities, and friends and to stream and share content. Whether you’re setting up your server on it or just browsing through others, it's very crucial to be aware of your data security. Here’s a simple guide on how to get started safely.
Discord is one of a kind way to connect with communities, and friends and to stream and share content. Whether you’re setting up your server on it or just browsing through others, it's very crucial to be aware of your data security. Here’s a simple guide on how to get started safely.

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Staying safe on Discord and Social Media

Discord is a widely utilized communication platform that caters to a diverse range of communities and users. Initially designed for the gaming community, it has since evolved to serve a variety of groups for an assortment of purposes, including online communities, social groups, and professional teams. Discord offers a selection of features such as voice and text chat, custom emotes, and customizable servers, enabling users to communicate with each other in real time, share files, and organize events or projects. 

In addition to these capabilities, Discord also offers voice and video calls, screen sharing, and file sharing, making it an indispensable tool for team communication and collaboration. By sticking to the safety guidelines on the platform, you can safeguard yourself and others, and enhance your overall experience on the platform. Here’s a simple do’s and don’ts list that will get you through, see you on the other end!

Do’s

Use strong and unique passwords

One of the most important things you can do to stay safe online is to use strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts. This means using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, and avoiding using the same password for multiple accounts. This might seem too obvious, but for many people, passwords are simply their names or phone numbers and to some, it’s just the same password for every account in their life. This must be avoided and one should consider using a password manager to help generate and store strong passwords.

Enable two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an extra layer of security that requires you to provide a second form of verification, typically a code sent to your phone or email, in addition to your password when logging in to your account. Enabling 2FA can help protect you against account takeover attacks, where someone tries to access your account by guessing or obtaining your password. This can be irritating to almost anyone at some point, but we assure you it will b worth every second someday!

Be cautious with links and attachments

Be careful about clicking on links and downloading attachments from unknown sources, as they could contain malware or phishing scams. If you’re unsure about the safety of a link or attachment, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid clicking on it.

Use private or direct messages for sensitive information

If you need to share sensitive information with someone, it’s generally safer to do so via private or direct messages rather than in public channels or posts. This can help prevent other people from seeing or accessing the information. This should usually go without saying but for some people, this disclaimer is a must.

Be mindful of what you share online

Think carefully about the information you share online, especially personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and financial details. Consider whether you want this information to be publicly available, and consider adjusting your privacy settings to limit who can see your information. It’s usually advisable to keep your socio-political opinions personal as these can become the cause of a community-based bias.

Don’ts

Don’t reuse passwords

As mentioned above, it’s important to use strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts. This means avoiding using the same password for multiple accounts, which can leave you vulnerable to account takeover attacks if one of your passwords is compromised. Further, it’s quite possible that some of your commonly used passwords are known to your friends and thus using the same password everywhere can be a potential risk to your privacy.

Don’t share your password with anyone

It’s important to keep your password to yourself, as sharing it with others can leave you vulnerable to account takeover attacks. If someone else has your password, they can access your account without your permission. Summarizing the first point, the right passwords in the wrong hands are always a risk, irrespective of who the carrier is.

Don’t click on links or download attachments from unknown sources

As mentioned above, it’s important to be cautious with links and attachments from unknown sources, as they could contain malware or phishing scams. Spam ads and misleading thumbnails are recurring on non-credible sources.

Don’t overshare personal information

As mentioned above, be mindful of the information you share online, especially personal information. Consider whether you want this information to be publicly available, and adjust your privacy settings accordingly. 

Don’t accept a friend or group invitations from strangers

Be cautious about accepting friend or group invitations from people you don’t know, as they could be attempting to scam you or gather personal information.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Conclusion

Following these simple steps to get started, you can build yourself a safe Discord account and explore the world of a diverse community without being at risk of hackers and other hazards. Remember to always use common sense and be aware of your surroundings when using any online platform. Use the “block” and “report” features if you encounter any inappropriate or threatening behavior.

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Sushanth Shyamsundar

Sushanth Shyamsundar

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