Alert: iOS and iPhone changes

You've probably heard that Apple announced two new iPhones recently: the colorful, cheaper 5C and the faster, more powerful 5S (comparison here). But even if you aren't in the market for one, you may be affected because along with the phones, Apple is pushing out a new version of iOS (the software that runs the whole device) for most Apple devices, including older iPhones, many iPads, and the most recent iPod touch, starting TODAY.

(How to upgrade your device: instructions here.)
This new version, iOS 7, is the biggest change to the way Apple devices work in six years. It includes lots of great new features (described here), but be sure you're ready before you upgrade! 

Whether you're considering a new iPhone or just installing the update on an old device, here are four essential tips.

1. Back up your old device 
Don't risk losing your data and settings. Backing up is easy and ESSENTIAL, with or without a computer. Details here.

2. Don't rush to change
Not all apps will be compatible with iOS 7 yet, and any upgrade has the potential to cause problems, so wait a bit before upgrading; let the early adopters find the problems and save you the aggravation.

If you can't wait to get your hands on a new iPhone, don't switch under time pressure; allow yourself at least a few hours to get comfortable with the changes and solve any minor problems that may arise.

3. Protect your Privacy
If you're trading in an old phone, be sure it is wiped completely before you hand it over. Apple promises to do this in front of you if you upgrade in an Apple store, but other stores (like your carrier) may not. 

4. Protect your Account
Never, ever, give a store employee your Apple/iTunes password; type it in yourself. A little paranoia is healthy in this case.

Happy Fall!