You can protect yourself from customers who want to steal your downloads by using DL Guard, which stops users from sharing your download links. Among other things, you can set a time limit for the download and limit the number of times someone can download your product, which helps control software piracy. DLGuard also lets you block domains if someone has been sending fraudulent purchasers.
The only downside is that DLGuard doesn't prevent users from stealing your content after it's been downloaded.
Another issue is dealing with serial refunders who consistently buy your products and services, only to return them later. DL Guard addresses this, as does ClickBank.
One way to protect your digital documents is password protection through Adobe Acrobat. This lets you restrict how documents are used. Password protection isn't ironclad, though, and it can be broken.
Unfortunately, there's no protection for print books. I know one author whose print book was scanned, saved as a PDF and sold without her permission or knowledge. It only came to light when she received a marketing package and discovered her work had been stolen. In this case, cease and desist orders apply, but they only go so far.
As you can see, there are many security issues that can threaten your online business. Knowing what to look for and preparing for it is your best line of defense. Being suspicious and vigilant is the next step. Online, caution is a good thing.
Nathan Segal has been working as a freelance writer, photographer and artist for 14 years. He is based in British Columbia, Canada. Reach him via email or visit his website. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.
Read more about online safety in CIO's Online safety Drilldown.