The first thing one must know before casting protection is: Who or What am I defending myself against? We may be trying to protect ourselves from offended spirits taking retribution for offending actions, or from being negatively affected by people or places, missteps or braking our word in our craft, and/or attacks from other practitioners. Create a regular protection and banishment ritual schedule to insure that you are staying safe.
No one is safe from an attack no matter how long they've been practicing. This is why it is important to have protection.
Identification of the type of attack is important. Be sure that it is in fact an attack and not an entirely different situation. For example, just because you stub your toe does not mean you’re being attacked - maybe a bit clumsy, but there’s no need to worry!
Symptoms of attacks can fall under 3 categories: External, (Internal) Mental, and Physical
External Conditions: attacks of this nature affect the probabilities of events/luck that occur in a persons life. They are known as crossed conditions, and normally start with the feeling of being “out of step” with time and the sense of everything going wrong. If not tended to, things may start escalating. What happens with this condition can be rationalized, but only by seeing the bigger picture and connecting everything together. When viewed as separate incidents, there will be no meaning. Be sure that there is a long list of these "bad instances" before assuming you are dealing with this condition.
Mental Conditions: No one has to hex you or anyone else in order for the power of suggestion to take its toll. It creates a self fulfilling prophecy; that is to say - if you think you are cursed then you will start noticing the signs of a curse (this can also be considered a way to give yourself the evil eye). The most common mental symptoms for an actual hex or curse are: despair, obsession, anxiety, unidentifiable fear, troublesome dreams, inexplicable confusion, or a lack of focus. Underlying mental health issues do not fall under this but can become stronger and more frequent.
Physical conditions: Headaches are one of the most common physical forms of an attack.
Generally the headaches are the ones that make you feel like your scalp is stretched across your skull, or that its too small for your head. Fatigue may also follow the headaches, and can be a sign of a parasitic or vampire attack.
Omens may also accompany an attack. One of the most common forms of omens are dreams. The subconscious mind (where our conscious and spiritual minds meet) see and hears all, and so will pick up on the attack and let you know.
This is why research is important and keeping protections in place against hexes, curses and unwanted entities is key to keeping yourself safe.