Where and How to Start?
I have been interested in hacking for a quite a while now. However, I never really had time to start. Until now. So, I have been reading some guides from here - the one about Linux from occupytheweb, for instance - and reading in general about networks. But I don't know if this is the right way to start or not. My aim was to read a lot of guides about more basic stuff not directly related to hacking (linux, network, etc) and only then, after having a grasp of all the more basic stuff, I would start using Kali hacking tools and following more specific guides.
However, I do have some experience in coding (mostly python but not cybersecurity related) and I usually learned everything by actually trying to do something. So, my biggest question is what do you recommend? Learn linux and a code language (I'm assuming one is not enough? Is it python a good place to start?)?
My second question is: how do you distinguish a script kiddie from an actual hacker? For instance, a lot of people rely on Kali tools - does that make them script kiddies? When do you really start to need to create your own scripts? Or are script kiddies just people that hack brainlessly, without actually understanding the concepts behind what they are doing?
Now related to security: when just learning and hacking your own computers, is VPN the only thing that you need to stay secured (or maybe you don't need anything at all?)? When do you really need to start going to coffee shops and using VPN and Tor all together? Anymore tips to stay anonymous and safe from detection? I know that there is no way to stay 100% anonymous, but do you people have any suggestions?
Another thing related to this. I would assume that white hat hackers can pretty much forget staying anonymous since they are not doing anything illegal (am I wrong?). But when do you hit the point where anonymity is essential? When you start doing really heavy crimes (like bank hacking)? Or hacking a third party (like a neighbor or a friend) without consent is already a huge deal to require a lot of precaution? For instance, I would imagine that for this last scenario a VPN, Tor, and public internet hotspot would be enough - am I wrong though?
I know that I have a lot of questions - but thank you if you lose your time trying to help me :)