To avoid the dicks.
1. Join a crew
2. Never go into a public free roam server.
3. When you start the game, from Single Player, press start. Go to 'Online', select 'Play GTA Online' choose how you want to play 'invite only', 'solo', 'crew only', 'friends only'
4. When in one of the above servers you can still search for a job (i.e. mission / deathmatch etc). When that has finished you either stay with those folks and play another mission or if you come out, you get returned to the server you started in.
I'm lvl 12 with 110k in the bank, rarely die and play the missions I want... Loving it.
Funny thing is, someone stuck a bounty on me yesterday, I don't play in public free-roam so I will collect the bounty and the cheevo.
People just driving round free-roam is pointless imo, it'll take forever to level up and surely becomes boring as fook...? Just personal opinion but it's GTA, do what you want, that's the point.