If you do not protect your invention by means of filing a patent application, anyone can steal your invention and profit from it themselves.
While a patent application does not provide the benefits of patent protection, that is to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling, or importing the invention in the country in which the patent issues, it does at least hopefully discourage others from stealing your invention.
That is because you can mark your product as "patent pending" or "patent applied for" if you have applied for a patent thereon.
The actual date of application, the type of patent application filed, and the claims submitted should be kept secret so that for all any potential copier of your invention knows, your patent may issue at any time, thus giving you the opportunity to enforce your patent rights against such person, who would be an infringer of your patent.
If you reveal that you just filed your patent application, that it is a provisional patent application, or that it is a design patent application, it gives the potential copier of your invention an idea that your patent will not issue for quite a while, and an idea of the scope of protection you may ultimately receive.
The bottom line, timely consult a competent "patent attorney" or "patent agent" to discuss the details of protecting your invention!