Discord is the premier chat service used by communities across the world. Not only does it allow users to communicate with one another, but it can also share files, stream, and conduct voice chats. The platform has over 150 million monthly users, with the number of registered users growing every day. Although it is one of the largest platforms for online communities, there are some privacy issues that have caused some serious security concerns. If you’re looking for safe, secure alternatives to Discord, we’ve compiled a list of the best options for online community engagement.
Discord Communities and Safety
Although the Discord platform has only been around for about six years, it’s become the most widely used source of community engagement among gamers, artists, and other groups. The platform allows for ease of use when it comes to streaming video games, communicating, and sharing information. There are both voice and text chat features, as well as video. The platform even offers a mobile app for ease of use.
Unfortunately, this popular platform does have some notable security pitfalls. For an application that has so many users sharing information, it’s shocking that they do not use end-to-end encryption. By not protecting user data with this type of protection, Discord members are being put at risk for serious cybersecurity breaches. That’s why many users are moving away from Discord and onto much more secure platforms. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Secure Alternatives to Discord
If you’re looking for a safe way to communicate with your friends and colleagues online but want to avoid the potential security risks of Discord, this list is for you. These secure alternatives to Discord make it easy to chat and share information on a safe and reliable platform.
You may be familiar with Slack as a tool in most modern workplaces. Although the platform is primarily aimed at businesses and organizations that require interoffice communication, there are still a variety of features that can be useful to those moving on from Discord. Many of the features that Slack offers are similar to those on Discord, including custom channels, voice calls, and file sharing. The main difference? Slack has a laser-like focus on end-to-end encryption and protecting user information.
- Pros: Powerful encryption. Sleek and easy-to-use design. Free and paid versions are available.
- Cons: Free users can only host one-on-one calls, which is not ideal for larger communities.
If you’ve never heard of the Matrix platform, you may be interested to learn about its open-source approach. Matrix allows users to operate on the client of their choice and is available for every platform. Similar to Discord, Matrix gives users a space for personal conversations and intercommunity discussions. There is even a Spaces feature that allows Matrix users to chat in the same way that Discord does. Plus, users can even host video and voice chats. With the added benefit of enhanced security, Matrix makes a great alternative to Discord.
- Pros: Open-source platform. Allows for self-hosting. End-to-end encryption.
- Cons: UI needs some improvements to be more usable.
Depending on the online community you are a part of, using voice chat may be your go-to method of communication. This is especially true for those in gaming communities. The TeamSpeak platform was around before Discord and still remains the best place to conduct secure VoIP calls. Users are required to run their own server, but with reliable end-to-end encryption, this makes for a safer online experience. While the platform itself isn’t as modern and well-designed as Discord, upcoming improvements may change that.
- Pros: Secure voice calls. End-to-end encryption. Free dedicated servers.
- Cons: Less well-designed than Discord. Users must host their servers.
Online Community Safety Tips
Regardless of which chat platform you decide to use, it’s never been more critical to ensure that you (and your information) are safe online. Take a look at the following tips for keeping your time on the Internet, and online communities, as secure as possible.
- Avoid revealing identifying information
- Never share your location with strangers
- Use two-factor authentication on all your accounts
- Avoid links or files from anyone you don’t know
- Use a VPN to mask your true location
- Update your privacy settings
When interacting with friends and colleagues on the Internet, it’s necessary to use caution. While there may be members of your community who are friendly, it doesn’t hurt to be safe and avoid potential safety concerns. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a much more secure online experience.
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