In this episode of Hacker Valley Studio podcast, Ron and Chris are joined by Chris Parker, creator of WhatIsMyIPAddress. His website now reaches six million monthly visitors and began as a necessity to solve a technical problem, which you can probably guess, determine his IP Address.
WhatIsMyIPAddress predates Google and was often found through the search engine AltaVista. For years, the site was simple, straightforward and didn’t have any graphics or markup (HTML). At some point, Chris stumbled upon a Content Management System (CMS) called Geek Log but quickly learned with the amount of traffic that it was best for him to manually code each page on his website. For quite some time Chris maintained the website, answered questions from users about IP Addresses, and created more content without receiving any monetary compensation. The advent of Google AdSense led Chris to realize that he could make a profit for hosting his website.
Chris’s website is in the top 3,000 websites on the Internet and was managed out of his home office for over 8 years. As you can imagine, he received traffic from users across the world and was even the target of some cybersecurity attacks. However, keeping the functionality on his website simple, the biggest threat Chris faced was Denial of Service (DoS). After moving his website from his home to a CDN provider that blocks malicious traffic and bots, Chris saw a 90% reduction in web traffic to his website. This led Chris down the path of creating content about security and configuration.
With such a large audience, Chris decided to start the Easy Pray podcast and help listeners learn how to avoid becoming easy targets for scammers and fraudsters online and in the real world. Chris recalls a story of a fraud group that scammed victims by telling the victim that they’ve won the lottery in their country but are unable to withdraw the winnings because of citizenship. This scam is not uncommon and has caused hopeful individuals to lose thousands and sometimes their entire life savings. Chris has set out on a mission to inform others of these scams and create awareness about online safety.
0:00 - Welcome back to the Hacker Valley Studio
1:44 - Introducing Chris Parker, Creator of WhatIsMyIPAddress
5:11 - Was the naming of the website intentional or was it incidental?
6:04 - Adapting and digital transformation
7:29 - Malicious traffic and cyber attacks
10:39 - Creating a more safe Internet with the Easy Pray podcast
12:43 - Unfortunate spam and scamming stories
15:18 - More about Chris’s goal to provide education to his listeners
18:40 - Learnings and takeaways to avoid being scammed
24:02 - Tools that Chris is using to grow and scale his business
26:51 - How to stay up to date with Chris Parker
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Cybersecurity is not technology centric, in my opinion. It is human centric. I am driven by my duty to not only protect people, but enlist and inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
The pursuit of knowledge always leads to something, so be open to whatever that is. It could be becoming the best, but it’s going to lead something and it’s most likely going to be a positive impact on your life.
It's not enough to be knowledgeable and skilled. Without passion you might as well be doing something else. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about what they do and the rest will come together.