Copyright Question

I know there was some threads on it, but I still have a question. When it comes to posting on public forums how should one go about making sure their work doesn't get stolen?

You can't. However, your own posting proves you're the original author of the story, so if you did a google phrase search and discovered your exact writing somewhere else, you could demand that it is taken down.

That's cool. But I'm more worried about someone stealing it away from me, and then not being able to legally make a profit.

How would they make a profit if you can prove you're the original author, and demand that the pirated copy is taken down? If you're super worried, you could submit a legal form to register copyright with your country. Vendor platforms like Amazon take copyright seriously. If you prove you're the author, they cull pirated copies really, really fast.

like, them trying to claim you stole it from them? they'd have to sue you, and they would need proof.

If you live in the US, your work is copyrighted the very moment you make it. You have to either relinquish the copyright yourself (ie put in in public domain or transfer the copyright) or make it as a work for your employer (which only works if it's considered a work for hire or otherwise covered by a contract, rather than something like a commission). That gives you protection by default. While it's darn difficult to sue for infringement without filing at the Library of Congress, you do have quite a bit of recourse, and if they try to sell your work for money, well, that's a felony regardless of whether or not it's registered. All you need is proof that you wrote it first, which even on the internet and on your own site is insanely easy to get.

So relax, man. The only thing you should worry about right now is checking the EULA of whatever site you're posting on, and work from there. And honestly, if the question really bothers you, contact a lawyer for advice.