well let me start off my saying hello and welcome. this question gets asked a lot actually it was not long ago that i was asking the same thing. and the answer i kept getting was. "well it depends on what you want to do." at the time all i could think of was that i wanted to program. and i pretty much rolled a die to chose one, lol. i started with python, witch is largly a web based laugage but you will see how things go together and how they must go. and you will start to understand the basic things that make up a language. and it helps to know at least a little bit of what you are doing befor you jump into something like C++.
also you said you want to learn some hacking stuff hu? well i think if you know nothing at all you could start by going to www.hackthissite.org
. make an account on that and give some of those a try. if you like web based things you might like it there. there are basic missions that will help build your understanding befor you jump into the realistic missions. it is mostly dealing with html, javascrpt, and there are a few applecation hacking mission. and since you claim to be paranoid i will say that hackthissite.org is total legal and safe. the worst thing that might happen is you could get a headache. lol.
also i think that the admin here and on pretty much any other forum will tell you is that we do not talk about doing illegal things. we talk about how to to do them and let each other know so that we can protect ourselves from such things.. or at least that is what most forums claim. and that is fine. you can use knowledge for good or for evil the final decision rests with.. the individual that comes across it.
well i hope you found some of this helpful.^^