I'm sorry about the issue. Please allow me to answer your questions:
1. Yes, local storage is safer as cloud online server can be hacked.
2. Mac Photos is a great app to store / manage your photos; it's easy to use. Here are the tutorials:
Please let me know if you have any further question. Please reply at the box below. Thank you,
iTunes does not store photos only Photos will do that.
Per my previous reply, you use the Photos app (not iTunes) in order to import / mange your photos.
Please let me know if you have any further question. Thank you,
You're welcome. Yes, the built-in Photos app is easier for beginners to use for both iPhone and Mac computer. Thank you,
Yes, tagging many photos is fast.
Like any other data, you back up normally, using Time Machine, or manually transfer / copy to a USB drive. More information about backup:
Yes, photos can be read on PC and other operating system. Thank you,
I'm sorry. I thought you mean about transferring / viewing photos on another device. Unfortunately no, Mac and Windows, each has their own built-in Photos app, so they are not compatible with the libraries. But you can transfer photos between any device. Thank you.
If you use the iCloud Photo Library you can view and download on any computer and there is very little risk of being "hacked" if you make secure passwords and change them often. I can show you by remote if you wish.
Only cloud based services would be available on both platforms.
Yes I store my whole Photo Library in the iCloud, use Flickr, and many other services of course any personal photos you don't want your mother to see should be saved elsewhere anyway... LOL and you have to be careful with Social Network services of course. FaceBook, Twitter, etc... I use 1Password ***** I can make impossible to guess passwords that I don't have to remember. I had a fire in 2012 where I lost everything but not my photos and data!!
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2. I also use Google Photos, as Google Photos allows unlimited photo storage online, so I can sync photos to all my devices.