"How do I protect my photography and art in general?"
"As Tahog (https://www.deviantart.com/tahog) pointed out, at least 1 journal per month makes it to the top of the list and is about stealing art. Sometimes this is something small such as posting a piece to facebook, other times you see hoards of pieces on a website selling wallpapers or something similar. Regardless of how it happens, or where, it can hurt just as much to see your hard work disregarded and especially someone else profiting or taking credit.
Protecting work is a huge deal for some people, and not for others. It depends entirely on your outlook - how you view your work and indeed