I've been managing a home network for a while, and by now i know my way around quite well on a computer. I have dabbled a tiny bit with hacking, but more focus on customization... making my own PC, designing Litestep themes, etc. So basically what I'm saying is... I know what I'm doing on a computer quite well.

But now i want to take the next step and learn to really build security. I've heard from many people that the best way to do this is to first learn to how to break security... if you can pick a lock, you can make it.

So, I was wondering the opinion of you folks... on where exactly to start on security. I'd really rather not break into my neighbour's wireless network (not really breaking in cause he has no password or firewall... heh) and plant malware. Is there not some way or place I can learn to make walls without having to break them first?
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If good things lasted forever, would we realize how precious they are?
-Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes