If you opt to have your own Home for your faction, offense is your best defense. Don't be afraid to spend the big bucks on turrets that deal more than 9000dps all over your dock, else you won't be serious enough a threat to deter anyone. If you want to focus on infinite shields that's one game, but 10 people with really big guns make your shielding obselete. Stealth is a great way to get started, but once someone knows where you are, that's match. Instead start your defences with lots of turret guns, each capable of soloing a small pirate fleet. If you have 5 barrels of 900 damage/shot, 3 shots a second on shields they can't seem to punch through, make that sucker a blueprint and spam it as a defense turret all over your base. With 30 of those you can ignore everything small coming at you, and your only concern becomes fending off the big guns.
Once Pirates are obselete as a threat, you become king of your sector and can truly claim it as yours.
Your Station is effectively your home. If you belong to a Faction, or have made your own, the Home of your faction cannot be destroyed. This protects your home base, from pirates and PVP. A Home is declared after placing a Faction Module on an existing station. You first enter your faction signature, then enter the module again the declare it as Home. Only one home can exist at a time.
Your personal station has the benefit of being able to Dock your ships, and hold them still within space. Docking your ship is the single best way to protect it from being either stolen or destroyed, and virtually any ship can be docked with a Docking Module. Docking Modules are triggered by firing your Ship Core's docking beam at them, (hitting the actual module) and as long as there isn't anything in the path and the docking area is big enough, your ship will mount to the module, treating the surface as a floor. If the docking area is not big enough, make use of multiple Docking Enhancers arranged in lines from the Module to expand the area.
The other type of docking is usually external, making use of Turret Docking Units and their Enhancers to place active defensive Turrets on your station. Ships also make effective use of Turrets, but a ship carrying another ship docked cannot itself dock! A Turret is activated through the use of the Bobby AI Module, most effective after docking as entering the ship to dock it deactivates the AI. In order for a ship to dock as a Turret at all, its core must be on the bottom. A ship with the core not on the bottom layer cannot dock to a Turret unit, but can still dock to a green docking unit. A turret has the advantage over a green docking unit, in that it can turn completely around, where the green docks are stationary.
Personal stations with gravity are more effective than without. While not mandatory, if you design a base around the idea of walking, a Gravity Unit at each entrance allows you to enter or exit your station's gravity at will. Stations are popular for holding your stuff in Plex Storage units, each giving a mimic of your own inventory layout.
Entering and exiting your station is more effective through the use of Plex Doors. While you can simply leave the station open, as you see in abandoned ones scattered throughout space, closing the door gurantees that nobody you don't want gets into your home. Doors are are triggered either by the player in proximity activating them, or by a same-faction ship firing their Docking Beam at the door. This can make things tricky; if you shoot to dock at your station with the door open in front of you, you may close the door on your own ship! The game will warp you out of being stuck like this.