Discord has exploded in popularity since its launch in 2015, racking up hundreds of millions of users in that period. That popularity, particularly in gaming circles, is what prompted Sony to announce a partnership with Discord recently. But one of the big concerns users have of any chat service is how secure it really is. Is Discord encrypted?
Is Discord Encrypted? (2023)
Discord themselves state that they place a high value on privacy. They also state that they do not sell your data, or share it with third parties. Nor do they monitor every server and conversation. While this is certainly encouraging, according to the Mozilla Foundation:
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.
Discord themselves states that:
All information sent within our services is encrypted both in transit and at rest. For example, we use Transport Layer Security (“TLS”) to encrypt text and images in transit
So while Discord does use basic encryption while data is in transit, it does not use the more secure end-to-end encryption service that other apps, like Signal or Telegram, use. And it isn't especially clear what they mean when they say data is encrypted "at rest".
In fact, they do state specifically that "conversations on Discord are not end-to-end encrypted" - like Snapchat. This potentially makes messages more vulnerable to a data breach, in comparison to if they were end-to-end encrypted.
How Secure Is Discord In 2022?
Discord supports many basic security features, such as Two-Factor Authentication and the use of strong passwords, to make your account more secure. For many people, this will be more than enough. But the absence of end-to-end encryption means that Discord is not perhaps as secure as it could be.
This is especially true when you compare it to the likes of Signal, Telegram and Whatsapp, all of which do offer that higher level of encryption. Discord does also try to keep on top of its security, performing regular security updates.
The company also offers a bug bounty program to try to better identify and resolve any vulnerabilities. Another benefit is that you can register using only an email. This means you don't necessarily need to hand over any personal information to the company.
It's probably fair to say that how secure Discord is, depends a little bit on what you intend to use it for. If all you want to do is chat about video games, and aren't worried about anyone accessing that information, then Discord is probably secure "enough".
You might not use it for exchanging sensitive business data, for example. But it's also true that there are other messaging and chat services out there, which do appear to offer a higher level of privacy and security than Discord. So if that's something that matters to you, then consider exploring the alternatives.