In episode 32 of the Rising Tide Startups Podcast, Kevin Prewett interviews Chris Parker, founder of WhatIsMyIPAddress.com

Kevin: This is Kevin Prewett with another episode of Rising Tide Startups and my guest today is Chris Parker. Chris thanks for joining us today.

Chris: Thank you Kevin, I’m glad to be able to be here.

Kevin: Tell our listeners who is Chris Parker?

Chris: So Chris Parker is the guy behind or whatismyipaddress.com. I think most of your podcasts are about additional startups but I’ve been around for almost 20 years, but in my mind it really has been a startup the last couple of years only.

Kevin: Is that due to the fact that there was just a quantum leap in the last two years versus what happened the first 18 or?

Chris: For a lot of the beginning years, whatismyipaddress.com, I never started that thinking this is going to be my business, this is where I’m going to put my time, my efforts. I was working for an online, or actually it was a catalog, mail order catalog company and they were having a problem with their internet connection back in the day when a one megabit internet connection was a big deal, and we need to know what the IP address was and we couldn’t find a little piece of paper that it should have been on, and we didn’t want to be stuck on hold for 45 minutes. So I thought, “Hey, let’s look on the internet. The internet should be able to tell us what our IP address was.” and we went on Alta Vista at the time. Do you know if Alta Vista exist?

Kevin:
I don’t think so.

Chris:
For those of you who haven’t been on the internet for 20 years, that’s what preexisted, Google, Ping, Facebook, all those things. Honestly, we couldn’t find a simple, easy, quick answer to it, and so I thought, I’ve got a DSL connection at home, I’ve got an old Windows 2000 server, I can put up a website that will tell people that, and that’s how it started. It was just simply, you went to that page, and it was just the IP address in the window. There was no logo, no content, just the number, and that was the beginning. I’ve made a useful resource for myself.

Kevin:
So for us non techie mere mortals out here, what is the value of knowing your IP address or what was it 20 years ago?

Chris:
Honestly in most cases, if you’re not doing something specific it’s usually in response to a technical support problem. I’m trying to get on Netflix and I can’t get on.

Kevin:
I think, I’m in Barbados.

Chris:
You can think the same in South Africa or in San Antonio and that’s usually where it starts for the vast majority of people. Gamers back in the days, when you actually ran the game server on your local machine, you tap to give out that IP address to people so that they could connect up to your gaming server so you can play Counter-Strike together or things like that. probably the more common thing these days are people are confirming that they’re actually using their VPN, so they know what their home IP address is. They turn their VPN on, they come back to the site and go, “Hey, it’s different. I’m no longer in San Antonio, I’m now in Barbados.

Kevin:
So walk us through, you touched on just a little bit about transitioning from 20 years ago typing and trying to find my IP address, and then I just created this website, now it’s actually a full time business, and I’ve got people that work under me type of thing. What was the quick timeline in those in those last 20 years?

Chris:
I don’t know if there’s a quick time it was 18 years, but I could condense it. When a number of years before I ever even realized there was any traffic coming to the site. Suddenly I started getting alert signal logs on the on the drive, we’re taking a lot of space. I started looking at it, wow a lot of people are coming to the site. I put a contact form on there, “Hey, if you have any questions…” And so I was answering questions via email, and then I got smart and said I should just answer these questions actually on the website.
I put together the 10 most frequently asked questions, I put them on the website and added a couple more pages and that’s kind of how the actually starting the site came along. I think in, when did Google AdWords start 2008, 2005, something like that?

Kevin:
Yeah, mid to late 2000’s.

Chris:
Yeah, so then I started to rather than trying to find specific advertisers, this Google AdWords thing was great, you put a little code on your site, and ad comes up, and you make a few dollars a day or something like that. That was kind of the genesis in my mind, like, this could actually be a business. I can’t make very much money off of any one individual user, but this is an incredibly common question, and lots of people are coming to my site, I should be able to make lots of money via ads. One of the challenges in the early days was that that mentality of, well let me just throw as many ads on the site as possible. Rather than making one cent per person, I could make two cents per person, and quickly learned that people don’t like that behavior.

I’m starting to see that on websites where, oh I want to read that article, and then it’s like one sentence per page and there’s 20 ads, like “Oh gosh”. I really thought to balance the user experience with my desire to be rich and famous, and really just try to keep it like, I need to cover my costs, and make a little bit of money but I really want to make the experience as pleasant as possible, so that’s kind of been the underlying thing for many years of, what’s really in the best interest of the people visiting my website. Not can I make more, “Hey, if I talk about this instead of that, can I make a little more affiliate money?” But to really say, what’s in the user’s best interest, and really be able to build loyalty based off of that process.

Kevin:
What you’re trying to say is that your autobiography would be titled like the accidental millionaire, or something to that effect. I just woke up and 6 million people were coming to my site.

Chris:
Well that one day was about 10 years.

Kevin:
That’s exactly right.

Chris:
I did try a lot of other businesses and in the intervening years, I tried to compete with Amazon in selling books, I did a ride with little side gigs that never really on a wiz like, “Hey, I worked an extra 20 hours this week and I made $20.” That’s just not a good use of my time.

Kevin:
That’s exactly right, I’d make more money making fries at McDonald’s than I’m making online so yeah. Was your background IT?

Chris:
Yes and no, I mean I am one of those people that I would do as I say not as I do. I didn’t graduate college, when I was in college, I was working at a catalogue company, the mail order company, I was making more money than my college friends, making more money than a number of people that I knew that graduated college and didn’t really know what they wanted to do. I got into sales, and started helping them out with their website and IT, I’m kind of that self taught website developer person, it’s kind of where I came from and that’s kind of been what I’ve been ever since.

Kevin:
I am in no way ever wanting to disparage the college experience because I really did have a good time. I met my wife at college was probably the best thing that ever happened to me but it really is interesting that I have a lot of friends in the tech space and people that we interview, it’s amazing that their experience and training did not come from those four years that they spent in the university, it came from just practical experience, on the job, hacking things on their own at night, and on weekends, typing in Google searches, watching YouTube videos, and just doing it, just doing the task itself. I wanted to ask you, in that 20-year period or whatever, when did you wake up and say, “Wow, this is actually is a real deal, this is what this is going to be my primary gig now.”

Chris: I think that that was kind of a transition, probably about five years ago, I was making as much from my side gig as I was from my day job. I really like my day job, I was good at it, doing web development and running the IT for online life insurance broker, and my wife and I, we’re both very risk averse people which probably doesn’t make for a good entrepreneur. But the reality is that, we’re just not the sort of people that we’re going to like, “Hey, let’s just quit our day jobs and do this with no safety.” It’s just not who we were, or are at this point.

When the financial crisis hit, my day job, “Hey, we can’t keep you on full time, can you work part time?” that was kind of like one of my first opportunities to like, I’ll cut down my hours, I’ll make less money but it still that kind of safety net where I can take my extra time and put it towards my business. My wife and I, we talked about it, we prayed about it, let’s try and see how it goes. we did that, it was working well, it was kind of this nice balance where I wasn’t fully at risk with my own business, I have that day job to fall back on, and the economy started to get better, I went back to work full time for them, and then they have some challenges and ultimately they went out of business. That was the, “Okay, either jump in or not jump in,” at that point. Again, my wife and I talked about it, we prayed about it, and said okay, let’s give it six months, and if you can actually start making, the business was making money without me putting a ton of effort into it, so the question is, if I put more effort into it, will it really make more money.

Let’s give it six months, and over the next six months, I was able to grow the business, grow the traffic, grow the content, grow the resource that I have on it, and consequently made more money, and at the end of the six months we said, “Let’s give it a year.” Give it a one year extension. And then after that year was like “Okay, this is doing good, why don’t you do this full time? You like this, you’re happy, you can survive working from home. Let’s make this a full time gig.” That’s kind of that transition of how it went for me. it was definitely not an overnight transition and what at the moment seems like a really challenging situation, getting laid off, getting reduced part time, really for me just turned out to be opportunities to maybe, I need a little push to take that risk, otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken it on my own.

Kevin: But you know what, that story is not unique, and it is not rare, I mean there are people that are burn the boats type entrepreneurs, I’m jumping out of the boat, we are not looking back, we’re going to burn the bridge, no retreat, and so many times, they get six months into it and they’re like, do I even like this? I burned every bridge I had, there was no transition period, I don’t like working at home by myself. I’m not a good manager of my own time, and all these things that come up. I think in some ways, you almost look at it disparagingly, we’re risk averse, but it’s actually almost like risk wise in some ways I think.

Chris: That’s the way we look at it.

Kevin: Absolutely, I’m okay with risks, but I do see the wisdom and say, “Let’s build a foundation that we’re kind of walking upstairs instead of trying to run up a slick hill type of thing.” I really like the way that you unpacked that and said, “It wasn’t just a 15 years into this, I woke up and web traffic was three million a month and I thought if I double the Google AdWords I can quit my job.” Type of thing and just stuff it with affiliate ads and things like that. I really appreciate the fact that you are trying to do things with your client and customer in mind. You and I can both show so many examples on the web of people that it is just bloated, there’s so little value behind it, and all they’re relying on is just traffic to go through, kind of click bait type of scenario. Tell me, you transitioned to full time, how long was it before you went from somebody beyond just Chris Parker working on this, and where are you today as far as like your team is concerned.

Chris: Previously I’ve written motion to content myself on some things that I use some contract writers here and there. A couple of years ago, I started working with someone that I knew that had been a writer at an agency, and he was going his own way. I contracted with him to start becoming my primary content writer. I like his vision of a really wanting to understand the content that he wrote about, not just regurgitate stuff to really understand it, and he really understood my vision of trying to write about technical subjects for people who aren’t technical, and really trying to avoid the mumbo jumbo, avoid the geek speak, the terminology because if people who aren’t in the industry can’t understand it, then how is that helping anyone?
I think every industry gets that way. Once you’re in the industry for a long time, you start using all the industry acronyms, and people outside the industry have no idea what you’re talking about because it’s not their industry. He’s been really good at writing content, he’s much better writer than I am. That really was able to communicate technical subjects in a non technical way. I brought on a contract graphic artist to spruce things up because again, I’m not a graphic artist, it’s certainly not what I do.

About a year ago, probably should have done it much sooner but about a year ago, I started working with a business coach which in some way has been a really good thing, but it’s also been really challenging for me personally in terms that he thinks very differently than I do which I think actually, I don’t think I’d want a business coach which thinks the same way. I need someone who thinks differently, who can see things in a different light, and has different experiences. Kind of just see things differently and it’s not, I’m on the inside looking on the outside.

Kevin:
I’m glad I didn’t marry me.

Chris:
Yeah, that would be a disaster.

Kevin:
Exactly.

Chris:
One of the things we had talked about kind of being uncomfortable is that he’s been really good at finding my tolerance, kind of pushing me beyond what I’m comfortable with. Like, “Hey, if you want to grow as a business person, if you want to grow your business beyond where it is now, you have to do things differently. You have to do things that you’re uncomfortable with.” It was kind of hard rock for me to swallow but I’ve been doing this for so long, it’s working but it’s like, “Well no, if you want to do better which is why you hired me, to do better, then you have to do things that you’re uncomfortable with.” one of those is podcast interviews.

Kevin:
Well I appreciate him leading your direction.

Chris:
The first one and two were a good experience, they’ve all been a great experience, it’s really good for me to learn, and I think it’s really helped me a lot. one of the potential challenges of being a solo person is you’re sitting in your home office and you have less interaction, it’s a way for me to make sure that I’m really being kind of outward focused, and connecting with real people as opposed to a theoretical person behind a screen that I can’t ever see or ever really know who they are.

Kevin: Has that transition been easy? I mean you went from working in an office environment, or cubicle form, however you want to phrase that to working by yourself, what’s been the biggest hurdle of the transition? Maybe that’s kind of our pain point, I mean how did you overcome the transition of working from, or is it still up a difficult obstacle?

Chris: I think there are kind of some generic challenges of having working in an office to working by yourself, I think generic ones which applies to me is just kind of that social interaction. Inherently, I’m not a social person. I don’t generally like, “Oh yeah, I just want to go out and be in a room full of people.” That’s not who I am. I realized that I was getting a certain amount of social interaction at work which helps keep me alive. But once I started working from home, I didn’t have that type of interaction.

It’s not that I needed to be in a big room of people but I still needed to interact with living, breathing people, that I could connect with. It’s been a matter of just making sure that I have those things set up in my life. My wife tells me that when we go out and do things, I’m much more talkative now.

Kevin:
Always a bonus.

Chris:
Because I’m not talking to people as much during my day. There’s an outlet for that, I made sure that there’s business friend of mine, or two home from church that I’d get with each of them maybe once a week, once every other week or so. We talk about our businesses, we just sit down and have coffee, breakfast or whatever, and I think that helps as well as, just making sure that I’m realizing that that is a need for me to have that social interaction, and that I need to put it on my schedule, it’s something that I need to make an effort to do, not just kind of hope it happens, or let it happen.

Kevin: If you’re online, do you hang out Starbucks, you’re going to co working spaces, are you are you doing other things are intentional in that in that kind of space?

Chris: You know for me, no. I don’t work well in those environments where there is a lot of background noise. I prefer sitting here next to my dog, with him sleeping next to me, with the air conditioner just right.

Kevin: Exactly, your environment, did I see that or hear that on another interview that…

Chris: Yes, he is a Mini Schnauzer, which means that I have to silence absolutely everything before make phone calls because he is always alert and always extremely vocal when he hears something that he doesn’t recognize.

Kevin: Well he’s probably a cheap VA too though for you and company. We kind of transitioned to the deep dive part. there’s a couple of three questions or whatever that I had just looking at your website, and just thought I wanted to kind of unpack a little bit with you too and one of them is, you said that this whole thing started when I typed, what is my IP address. If you do that today, doesn’t Google show you the IP address that you’re logging in from just automatically?

Chris: Yes it does.

Kevin: How does that affect your business?

Chris: Surprisingly very little. you’re like how could that not affect him, that’s something that Google put into place probably five or six years ago. They started actually answering a number of queries for lots of things. If you started asking how old was an actor, Google would just tell you that as opposed to sending you to a site. When Google initially started toying with this answer your IP address. Honestly, that was kind of a low moment in my thought process is like, “Gosh, I’ve just been put out of business by Google. I’m done, 90% of my audience is going to be gone.” They must have only been testing it because it’s only maybe a 5% or 10% drop of my traffic.

Well they must just be testing it. it’s just me who’s seeing or just some people who are seeing it, and it ultimately turned out there’s a bunch of different queries that you could do for that, what’s my IP address, what is my IP, there are variations of that that they started, “Here’s the IP address that you connected to Google with.” It was actually really surprising that I only had a minor drop in traffic. Even more so is that it had zero impact on my revenue which is like, well how could that have no impact?

You have the people that just wanted that, and those people that previously came to my website got the answer, hit back, close the browser or whatever, and never clicked on an ad, they never went anywhere on my site. Ultimately, what ended up happening is, the page views per visit actually went up. People that were coming to the site were no longer just backing away and going away.

Kevin: Right, they were actually clicking on links, and looking at articles.

Chris: Yeah, and there’s more that the site does that just shows their IP address, if the person is just doing that, Google can answer that. but for people who are using a VPN, or they’re trying to confirm their VPN, well is the VPN, is it really in Australia, is it really in the UK, Google’s not currently answering that kind of information, it’s just – here’s a number and we’ll leave you to figure out whether that’s relevant to you or not.

Kevin: Speaking of VPN, your site currently has a popup that asks, is it kind of a one survey question if I remember correctly that says something about, “Are you using a VPN,” or something to that effect, “What’s the thought behind that survey?” Is there some method behind the madness?

Chris: There is a distinct method behind the madness. I actually started going through a masterclass by Ryan Levesque called The Ask Method.

Kevin: Yeah, I’ve got one in my browser right now, open.

Chris: While that particular survey is not an ask method survey, it’s really been inspired by getting about halfway through that process, and really try to understand, we did a different version of it of it and the question was, “Why did you come to the website?” of course to get my IP address, but why did you need the IP address. A lot of this is making an effort to really understand why people are coming to the website. What are the challenges that they were having that they’re trying to resolve by coming to the website. We usually do this, we found lots of people were just trying to confirm that their VPN was working. That was kind of surprising so we wanted to dig more in finding out why are you using of a VPN, what do you like about it, what do you not like about it, which one are you using, how would you rank it, and then to the people that aren’t using VPNs, do you know what a VPN is, and you’ve just chosen not to use it, you have no idea what it is because there is obviously people looking at IP addresses. There’s a very good tie in for a product place in conjunction with that which is what we do.

Kevin: That makes sense.

Chris: But better understanding the challenges that people have, which is one of the things that we that we did with an extensive ask method surveys, really trying to find out. Well there’s three types of VPN users out there, people who want to be able to access specific content that they can’t currently access, people that are concerned about security, and so we did a fairly extensive survey, thousands of results, reading every single long form answer to really find out the language that people use, so that as we write articles and talk about VPNs, we’re actually talking about it in the language that people who use them or want to use them are actually using not industry speak, no babble. We still need to explain the product but really trying to connect with these—the person who is concerned about tracking talks about a VPN this way. These are their concerns. So we need to write content that really resonates with that audience and explains it to them a terminology that they use as opposed to terminology that I use.

Kevin: Absolutely. I promise I’m just going to ask you one more follow up question then we will take our deep dive. With that kind of traffic, everybody’s always talking about, you’ve got to build your email list, with your traffic, I would think that that may not be as imperative for you just based on the fact that you have so much traffic coming into your site through your lead funnels or whatever you want to call it. Have you built an email list or are you relying solely off of just traffic that’s coming through your site, or is it some combination?

Chris: The vast majority of traffic coming to the site is natural search, referrals, and people just they’ve got it bookmarked. Very little from social media. We get traffic but comparison to 200,000 people a day, if I can get 1000 people, or even if I got 10,000 people from social media today, that’s still only 5% of my traffic. In some sense, it’s really hard to move the big needle with social media and stuff like that. We do have a mailing list, it really to be honest, it hasn’t been super effective which is one of the reasons why we wanted to go through the ask method, obviously this isn’t working quite right. We’ve got moved about 40,000 people on the list.

Kevin: Which again is a small percentage of just your organic traffic.

Chris: Correct. It’s an incredibly small percentage of the traffic. We have to communicate value of why they should be on a mailing list. If they’re there just to get their IP addresses, well why should I be on the mailing list, what are you going to tell me that I don’t already know, that you could tell me via email. It’s something we’re really trying to figure out. I think there is value there. I don’t think it’s going to be a double, or triple my revenue type of value.

Kevin: You don’t have to market through that either, that’s not your primary marketing channel because you have such enormous numbers, your traffic numbers are so enormous compared to the average website out there. I see that being at a nice problem to have.

Chris: Yeah, it’s a unique problem to have, lots of traffic, and how do you monetize it when it’s not intentional looking for a product, or looking for a service. That’s been one of the ongoing challenges of how do we effectively monetize. It’s kind of like dictionary.com, how do you monetize that traffic.

Kevin: There’s no one in our listening audience, I promise you, there’s no one in our listening audience that will be able to answer that question because nobody’s had that problem and overcome it in our audience, how did I monetize six million visitors a month, I don’t know.

Chris: It’s probably similar to new sites having to figure out how to monetize. They’ve just chosen to throw more ads on, and I’m not going to go down that route. It’s not a good experience, but they have that same sort of challenge and that you have lots of traffic but I’m not here looking for a camcorder, I’m not looking to buy a book, I just wanted to read the news.

Kevin: Without annoying them.

Chris: Yes.

Kevin: Let’s finally get to this that I’ve been promising for the last 10 minutes. Let’s get to the deep dive, really get in your head here. Other than the self-deprecating comments you made earlier about not finishing university I’m thinking, well neither did Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, so you’re in great company there. Who is somebody online that you would say really inspires you and why?

Chris: I have to admit, I’m not one of those people that stalk people online. I’m not a Gary Vaynerchuk fan, not that I’m not a fan.

Kevin: It didn’t have to be online, you can just say, this is who my inspiration is.

Chris: To me, I’m inspired by people who could do things that I can’t do, has fundamentally different skill sets. Do you know who Adam Savage is?

Kevin: I don’t.

Chris: Adam Savage was one of the guys from MythBusters.

Kevin: The red-headed guy.

Chris: Yes, he’s the redhead guy. He came up through prop making and stuff like that. He has a new business called Tested, MythBusters Junior in the near future. But on Tested, he just builds stuff. To me, it’s really neat to see someone who has that kind of artistic skills of building things but he also has a very technical practical side of processes and orders, that kind of resonates with me. Myth Busters, they always had this saying that, “Failure is always an option.” But it was an answer like look, it’s not always going to work. Sometimes it’s going to be a dismal failure, and I think that’s a valuable life lesson that we have to be careful, watching the online personalities. They’re only going to show us their successes for the most part. They’re not going to say, “Oh I spent $10 million on this product line and we sold three of them.” That’s just not who they are.

Kevin: It certainly didn’t help their sales. I mean it doesn’t say, I didn’t fail, I found 10,000 ways a light bulb didn’t work or something to that effect. Tell me, if you could go back a few years where you were in a completely different stage of business development or whatever, what is one piece of advice that you would give yourself that you wish you knew then that you know now.

Chris: Can I give you two?

Kevin: Sure.

Chris: One is get a business coach. Someone who can see your business from the outside, who thinks differently, and can slap you upside the head when you’re doing stupid things and you don’t realize it. I think the other thing that I’m kind of in the process of wrestling with now is design things, processes in your business that can be handed off to other people.

Kevin: Kind of E-Myth, work on your business instead of in it, type of thing.

Chris: Well being able to facilitate that. For so many things on my website, I was the person who coded it, I’m the person writing tips and I’ve been the person responding to a bulk of the support tickets, and so consequently, I didn’t build SOPs. I didn’t build ways for other people to log in and do maintenance on things, and now I’m having to re tool things and rethink things of like, okay, how white train someone to do this now that I am so far into the weeds with this. Like you said, I’m spending so much of my time doing the business as opposed to directing or managing the business. I’m trying to work to get myself out of these areas where this is not—and that was one of things that the business coach helped me to realize specifically.
The first place and he made me realize was with accounting. Not that I switched my accounting off, but he was just asking about the business, “Who do have doing your accounting?” very proudly, I’m doing my accounting and his response was, “Okay, we’ve talked about how much money you make a year. So do you realize that you’re paying, you’re uneducated, untrained, no industry experience accountant this amount of money an hour to do a crappy job.

Kevin:
Well yes I recognize that, and of course I do.

Chris:
And you know to me, I was all happy about the fact that look, I’m doing all this by myself, in my mind I was, I don’t have to rely on anybody, but he was really just kind of saying, well maybe for the accounting I would because of the way my business is set, there was only a couple hours a month maybe it’s not really able to be outsourced, but it was that thought process of, is this really where I should be spending my valuable time.
Should I be spending my valuable time deleting logs, rotating logs, backing things up, should I be spending my time answering support tickets? Well, some of them should be me, and some of them should probably be handled by somebody else. Should I be the one who is coding the HTML these days? I’m a really expensive web developer, I shouldn’t be doing that.

Kevin:
And you’re more an expensive accountant.

Chris:
Yes, and a really crummy accountant.

Kevin: Let me close by just asking you do you have a life quote that really just kind of inspires you or drives you, there’s that one line that you look at, you got it taped up on your wall, by your laptop, whatever.

Chris: There’s a quote that I really love that I think entrepreneurs need to memorize. It’s, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I don’t know who said it, but once we think that we’re the smartest person, we’re in trouble. We’re not going to learn, we’re not going to grow, whether it’s personal life, or professional life, you’ve got to be open to outside input, and realizing that people have skills and talents that you don’t have, and you need to be able to listen to people who are experts in their fields.

Kevin: Yup, Chris, that is such a great advice. I actually got those questions I had in my list to ask you one before, what a great way to end our interview today. Why don’t you just bring us home and tell us where we can find you online, and is there anything else that I haven’t asked you about the you just want to add to this?

Chris: I will tell you where you could find me online and then I’ll throw in some tidbits for entrepreneurs out there.

Kevin: Great.

Chris: So obviously, you can find me at whatismyipaddress.com, which is the website for me, but if you want to get in touch with me personally, you can go to cgparker.com and kind of see some of the behind the scenes stuff on running the business that I’m putting together, and trying to help people outside of whatismyipaddress.com with online privacy and online safety. I think there’s three things that all entrepreneurs should do. If you don’t have an offsite backup for your computer, get one today, it could be Carbonite, anyone.

Often I hear people say, “Well I’ve got that back up hard drive sitting on my desk. Once a week if I remember it, I copy everything under the backup drive.” That’s good if you remember it, and most of us aren’t really good at repeating things every Friday before we walk out of the office. It’s probably only getting done once a month. The other thing is it’s not really a backup, if someone broke into your house and saw your computer, and the hard drive right next to it, it’s all gone. If heaven forbid, your house burns down, you get flooded out, it’s gone.

If your backup isn’t offsite, then it’s not truly a backup. I’ve helped a couple business owners out with that. I remember the owner of the company was down for three or four days, no access to all his notes, all his files, while we sent the drive off to a drive saver to recover everything. Luckily, we’re able to get the vast majority of it back but if you just have an offsite backup, yeah maybe spend the night downloading stuff but for $60 a year versus four days of being offline.

Kevin: Exactly, or some things you may never recover.

Chris: Yeah, if you’re lucky, lucky you. That could help with like Ransomware and stuff like that, you don’t have to pay ransom when you get the backup, don’t worry about the ransom. Use a password manager, everyone’s been breached in the last couple of years. If they haven’t been breached, they will be breached, and if you’re using the same password for your email address in two places, they’re going to get into another account and password manager is just the way to go.

If you want to find out if your email address has ever been associated with a breach, this guy Troy Hunt who has put together a massive database of all the breaches that he’s been able to get data from called, I’m going to say it wrong and then correct it, Have I Been Pwned, but instead of an O, a P. the hacker term for being owned is a P, just type in your email address and it’ll tell you every database that that email address has been compromised on. That should be a red flag to people who are like, “Oh wow, I better use a password manager. I can’t keep using that same password on everything that I do.” And then use a VPN when you’re out in public Wifi or traveling.

Kevin: Great advice and absolutely necessary.

Chris: Yes, absolutely.

Kevin: From someone who spends about half his life in a Starbucks, absolutely necessary. Let me repeat, offsite backups, use password managers, and use a VPN, what great sage advice for our listeners and just everyone. Chris, and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time today and even though we are called Rising Tide Startups, you know, your 20-year startup, we appreciate you outlining the path and the brief timeline, actually just speaking into our lives, and the lives of our listeners, and just giving us some sage advice, and good life lesson, good business lessons and just practical steps so that we actually will do things better, and more efficiently, and Chris just once again, thanks again for taking your time and just helping all boats rise in a rising tide. Have a great day.

Chris: Thank you very much Kevin, you too.

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Chris Parker

Chief Marketing Technologist at CGP Holdings, Inc.
Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist of WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, the leading IP address lookup site. Chris has 15+ years of experience building and managing high traffic web sites. Web developer, programmer, IT Guy.
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