There's nothing you need to do to copyright your work. If you are the creator, you own the copyright. You can go through a whole bureaucratic process to formally copyright it, but it doesn't give you anything more than the ability to collect punitive damages.
I would put a notice at the bottom of each hub stating Copyright 2009, Chrissie Lastname - or something to that effect. Every now and then, just run some of your hubs through Copyscape to see if anyone's plagiarized you. If that happens, let us know. There are lots of folks out there who have figured out the best way to battle it.
Your work on here is already under copy write laws when you post it here on hub pages. While people are now allow or suppose to steal your content they still do. No matter where you post even if its to your very own blog there are still people out there that will steal your hard work.
1) watch the flags that appear on your "My Account" when HubPages catches a duplication of your work
2) periodically Google a bit of unique text from your work to see if it shows up anywhere else.
If you find it anywhere else, file the DMCA complaint form that should be on the site somewhere. They are usually very prompt in making someone take it down if they can't prove it's theirs.
We've all had it happen. It's not as big a deal as we tend to think. It can happen to anyone.
Let's say you stop publishing online because you're afraid people will steal your work. Don't you think people who publish books have the same problem? People copy and steal their work all the time too. The only way you can ever prevent someone from stealing your work is to never let it out of your head.
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