The very first lesson on the very first day of burglary school is: Don't get caught. The first step to avoiding capture is avoiding detection in the first place (if they can't see you, they can't call the cops).
While lots of burglaries take place during the day, darkness is still a great cover. When looking to make your house less of a target, one of the best fixes is lighting, both outdoor and indoor. It's partly about minimizing the appearance of vacancy inside the house (which burglars look for), and partly about shedding light on would-be intruders outside the house.
Inside, what you need is to establish a routine and stick with it. Lots of burglars will case a target to pinpoint vulnerabilities, such as the occupants going out of town. Get a timer and set the lights to go on at a certain time in the morning and off at a certain time at night. That way, it'll be harder to tell when you're gone, whether you're on a trip or just working late.
Outdoors, it's all about visibility. The area immediately outside your home is the first line of defense. Yard lights (both front and back) are great, but the solar kinds are probably too dim to do much in the way of security [source: Consumer Reports]. The 120-volt type is better, and should be placed at strategic points such as entries and pathways. Any hiding spots, like clusters of trees or freestanding structures, should also be well-lit. If you're concerned about light pollution and energy suckage, most of these lights can be hooked up to motion detectors so they only go on when they're needed.
Up next: The last line of defense…