ErkiB wrote:Should I check any boxes under Service Section
That depends on your own needs. Do you want, that Apache, MySQL and/or FileZilla Server are starting automatically with your Windows start (independend if you want to use them at the time or not)? If that is the case, then maybe Services can be interesting for you.
I for example:
- don't want, that several ports are accessible exept i need to use the,
- use several testing and development stacks on the same machine for compatibility testing and want to choose myself which stack i want to start, because Windows can't know that
- just need 5 seconds to start the shortcut(s) of my control panel(s) on my desktop and click on the start buttons. Thats no effort for me.
- have full control over my processes, especially the error reporting of them. Windows services log some errors in the Windows event log, some in their log files.
- have installed some XAMPP Stacks on USB devices which don't get the same drive letter every use. Services need a static drive letter
If you want to use Services, just register them is everything is starting successful. Services can make some troubles which you won't have without them.
ErkiB wrote:Also how risky is using Xampp in general? I mean I want to keep creating my website and do it safely,
That highly depends on how many people are on the same network as you are / can use your computer.
If you are the only person in your network and use a firewall or router with integrated firewall, you are quite safe if you don't free/forward the ports in your firewall.
If you don't need some components or don't know what they are doing (FileZilla, Mercury, Tomcat) simply don't start them.
To enhance the local database security you can set a new password for the mysql user root and configure phpMyAdmin to show a login screen.
But by default phpMyAdmin and MySQL are only accessible in your very own computer.