Griefers is the reason i never went public with my friend, plus our server wouldn't have really been reliable for it haha.
But I do know there are some add-ons for servers to help prevent griefing. I don't remember any names of them. But I remember one for storage safety called lockit, it allows you to place a sign on a chest and it locks that chest so only the player that placed the sign on it can open / destroy it.
Also my friend just moved into a new place so we are planning trying to get our little server going again, possibly for a couple other games we play, though only one at a time haha.