Hi, Theresa. Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent theft as you begin to share your ideas with others besides applying for the PPA (as it is already mentioned by Maia above).
• One of the best ways to secure your idea is to only reveal what is absolutely necessary. If you’re pitching an idea to a potential client, give only the details necessary to convey the idea.
• A non-disclosure agreement can help protect your idea before revealing it to workers or other associates. However, from my personal interaction with the investors, it’s important to note that many they will hesitate at signing an NDA before you speak with them. Since the balance of power is in their favor, this may be something you’ll have to give up if you want investors. The same holds true for potential clients. The solution is that Instead of requiring a signature; consider simply printing a confidentiality statement on your business plan.
• A trademark can provide an additional layer of protection since a company’s name is often tied closely with its idea.
• Whether you’re revealing an idea to a potential investor, possible clients, or a contractor, do your part in researching that person or company prior to your appointment.
• In the last, you always have to rely heavily on your sixth sense. If you feel something is fishy, it more probable that it is fishy. You must highly regard your intuition in such matters.