MINNEAPOLIS - For many businesses, brick and mortar has been replaced with keystrokes and websites.
So when when their company's website goes down, so does their business.
"Our store front is our website," said John Marino, owner of RSP Marketing. "It's like we don't even exist when our website isn't up."
RSP Marketing is a business that helps other businesses develop websites and social media platforms.
Marino and many of his clients use GoDaddy.com, a web-hosting and domain-registration company. But Monday the company confirmed the websites and e-mail addresses it hosts for small businesses were experiencing widespread outages, potentially affecting millions of businesses
Marino said it affected a third of his clients.
"Our clients were calling us up asking, our website is down what did you guys do," he recalled.
Hackers took credit for causing the problems, but GoDaddy officials did not confirm that.
In a statement emailed to KARE 11 Monday evening, a spokesperson claimed many clients were back up and running late this afternoon.
"At no time was any sensitive information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised," said Elizabeth Driscoll, Vice President of Public Relations. "We want to thank our customers for their patience and support."
She said the company would provide more information in the next 24 hours.
The problem was alarming to customers.
"That's generally why you go with a larger company because they spend more money on security than anybody else," said Marino.
Jake DeWoskin with KDV in the Twin Cities specializes in computer security.
"You're talking about something that impacted about 5 million people most of them small business owners," he said.
DeWoskin said he dealt with a number of clients who called him Monday reporting problems saying they were not able to process transactions or payments.
He advices there is nothing you can do to completely prevent the risk, but the simplest way to keep your businesses from completely going dark is to separate your services.
"Most of the clients that were impacted, a good percentage of them had both their website and their email hosted with GoDaddy," he said.
Marino says this was the first problem he has ever had with GoDaddy in his ten years working with the company. By about 5:30pm his website was back and up running.
That said he wants answers to make sure this one day doesn't turn into everyday.
"Any time you're down, you're losing sales," he said.
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