Okay, so I look for a thread similar to this to answer my question but didn't find one due to my inadequate searching skills or the simply fact that this thread hasn't been made yet. My question is this.

I've read on several sites that copyrighting your own work before publishing is like stamping your forehead with the word AMATEUR. Publishers and agents alike do not like when writers do this for multiple reasons, one being that agents then have to hassle with two copyright dates instead of just theirs. How do you authors who have finished, unpublished works protect your stuff from being stolen? (Mail interception, a bad agent intern, etc.) I seriously didn't think it was a big deal to protect my work. I mean, I'm an unpublished author, who is going to want to steal my stuff? However, my entire family is freaking out, saying that I would be stupid to not somehow verify that my novel is, in fact, mine.

What I am doing is sending the manuscript to myself to get a time stamp and proof that it was mine as of tomorrow, but I think that's as far as I'll go.

(If there is a thread already like this, please post a link! Thanks!)