"Hackers!!!"- The very term would scare people.
It's use has become so very restricted, that people have started taking the term for cyber criminals and computer vandals. But believe me, the very term hacking means "to redefine something to do what it was not made to do...". So, if you configure your FM radio, so that it can receive TV signals as well, it is hacking. If you sneak into someone's privacy, then we term it to be "cracking" not hacking. The very term hacking is clean.
We shall take some examples. All of us must have heard about the famous Operating system Linux. I'll tell you a truth associated with it. It was invented by a fin computer science student, whose name was Linus Torvalds. He was a hacker. Yes, a hacker. Hackers are not evil people. They are people in search of something. That something is knowledge. It is only their thirst for knowledge that makes them do what they do. So, from a broader aspect, even the black hat hackers, whom we call "crackers" aren't really bad people. They help us, the white hats. We are like family. They teach us that we have faults in the programs we have created, and that fault can be misused, and can be potentially harmful to people using the program.
The term hacker was first coined in the MIT(the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), for someone who was a computer expert. But, later on the media has corrupted the term, to designate computer criminals.
I shall now tell about the two major devisions in the world of hackers. There are, basically two types of hackers in this planet. The ones who like to use their knowledge in the positive side, whom we call the The white hats and the others, who use it in the negative side, whom we call The black hats. Always remember - intelligence acts as a double edged sword. The choice, which side you want to take is on to you. I'd say that none is "bad". Because the basic motive in either case is the same - freeing the civilization of ours, from all sorts of threats. To give us a wider view of this place, we are all living in.
This is all I have to say in the intro to hacking section.