Pycharm CE Vs Pycharm Professional

I recently have been working on a Python programming project and I wanted to point out the differences between the Pycharm community edition vs the paid addition. I want to start out by saying that I think Pycharm is the best Python editor on the market. While I like VSCode, Pycharm makes the virtual environment for you and loads the plugins for you rather than having to do all that manually in VSCode. But VSCode has one advantage over Pycharm it’s entirely free and while the Pycharm community edition is free it’s not totally functional.

Pycharm community edition lets you code apps using PyQT, PyGTK, and Tkinter so basically any kind of desktop app for free but if you want to code anything using web frameworks like Django or Flask you need to have Pycharm Professional. Pycharm community edition does not include any web framework platform editing.

Pycharm Community Edition as far as web development only supports HTML, XML, YAML, JSON, and RelaxNG while Pycharm Professional supports many others including remote development tools like Docker, SSH, and FTP. Both versions are free and paid support Github.

One of the things that really personally annoyed me was the support for SQL. You can use SQLite which is supported by Python but to use other free database tools like PostgreSQL or MySQL you need Pycharm Professional. I could understand that for Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle SQL but not PostgreSQL or MySQL which are free and open-source for everyone. Even Microsoft and Oracle offer express versions that are free why do you need the pro version to access and modify free databases.

If you are just learning Python I think Pycharm Community edition is great it’s fast and creates a Virtual Environment for you every time it makes it easy. While I do think that the community edition is great if you are going to be doing any real project work I strongly recommend buying the Pycharm Professional at 8 dollars a month it’s worth the cost for anyone who is serious about development it’s a great tool and I recommend it to anyone working with Python.

Background Checks Are A Must For All

Background checks are one of the most important things you can do when hiring someone, especially when hiring anyone who works with kids.

It drives me nuts when I see ads on craigslist for people needing a nanny or sitter ASAP. I just hope those parents do their best and get background checks from one of the companies like Enanny. I always recommend that you go and get a background check yourself. I tell everyone never to let someone bring you background check paperwork because this can be doctored up so easily.

Anyone who works with kids should have an FBI Federal Criminal History Check, Child Abuse Clearance check, and a drug test. I know that might be a little overkill and at times might make it hard to get volunteers for events but to me, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to kids. Most schools now require these three clearances since 2016.

These clearances are important not just for schools but for anyone working with kids Scout leaders, coaches, or anyone working with kids. Never assume that just because someone has kids of their own they are ok they should still have clearances. Remember most issues with kids come from people that you would not expect. Close friends and family members are most of the time the ones arrested for inappropriate behavior with children.

Anyone working with the elderly should get FBI Federal Criminal History Check and Abuse Clearance. While the elderly are adults some cannot report issues of neglect or abuse. If you are taking a loved one to a private nursing home be sure to ask to see the staff clearance policy. Make sure people like janitors, maintenance, and kitchen staff have clearances. Just because they do not work with the elderly directly does not mean they cannot be an issue.

I would like to say not everyone with a record is not an issue and sometimes people with a record can be trusted but sometimes in certain situations better to be safe then sorry in the long run when dealing with children and elderly.

Credit Checks For Security

In 2008 when the economy took a nose dive into the great recession as I call it many investigations were done into bank employees who were using their loan officer positions at banks to help bail out friends and families but loaning them money under false pretenses and committing fraud. Part of the entire financial crisis of 2008 was due to people getting mortgages on homes they could not afford or taking out loans on homes that were not worth the value they got in cash.

There is an old saying that money is the root of all evil and it can be in some cases. We live in a world where credit and money are needed to live and the way people handle money can be important to know.

I personally think anyone who works with money from a bank teller to the bank president should have a mandated credit check. This does not just go for banks this applies to anyone in any company who has access to company funds.

Employers are increasingly running credit checks on job applicants and using that information to make hiring decisions. If someone is being hired for jobs that deal with money or especially if they are in any position to be able to disperse funds they should need to agree to a credit check.

Companies like Nerdwallett, for example, give potential employers or businesses modified credit reports showing debt and payment history. This is great because getting your credit pulled can actually lower your credit score so a modified report does not show the credit score because it’s not running your credit just showing your payment history and debt to income situation.

I would like to say people with bad credit or no credit are not bad people but seeing someone’s financial information can tell you something about them.

Lots of late payments could indicate you’re not very organized and responsible, or don’t live up to agreements.

Using lots of available credit or having excessive debt are markers of financial distress, which may be viewed as increasing the likelihood of theft or fraud.

Any evidence of mishandling your own finances could indicate a poor fit for a job that involves being responsible for company money or consumer information

Like I said not everyone with bad credit is an issue but it can give a company a better understanding of you as a person. Sometimes people might have bad credit due to a divorce or bankruptcy in that case the people took care of their issue and are recovering their credit and may be a good fit everyone’s situation is different.

Remember credit checks are important as handing company funds is a sensitive thing and needs to be done by people you can trust a credit check is important I have seen to many times where a simple credit check could have really saved a company’s issues.

Benefits of a VPN

If you need to use public wireless at any time and need to send sensitive information like banking or credit card information, I suggest using a VPN network.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is a network that is constructed using the Internet to connect to a private network, using encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted. This type of network is designed to provide a secure, encrypted tunnel in which to transmit the data between the remote user and the company network.

There are tons of different VPN services on the market companies like AVG Internet Security and ProVPN are all reputable services that you can pay for and use to keep your data safe while using services. I strongly recommend using a VPN if you are going to be using any insecure wireless connections on either your phone or computer. I strongly recommend that you get a paid reputable service many of the free services you find online may not be secure or maybe watching and logging your traffic which not what you want in a VPN service. VPN services are using not expensive, and you can pay them monthly or yearly.

Most VPN services have software for your computer, plugins for your web browser, or an app for your iPhone or Android. VPN software is now very easy and simple to use and may even be included with your Anti-Virus software.

Everything I mentioned may be a lot to take in but all of it is important for you to remember if you are going to be browsing the web or doing financial transactions online. Remember one thing when using the internet, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to security and privacy.

Any questions please contact us.

Messaging With End-To-End Encryption

Just like computers, there are security vulnerabilities in smartphones and even messengers. We all remember using AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger back in the day, but messengers have evolved over the years. We now have Skype, Facebook, iMessage, WhatsApp, and many others too many to list at this point. Just like a hacker can spy on you using free Wi-Fi they can also grab your messages.

Not all messages are at risk of being spied on by hackers. Messengers like iMessage and Signal use end-to-end encryption meaning only you and the person receiving the message can read it no one else can sense it’s encrypted from beginning to end. Facebook has started using secure messaging on Facebook Messenger as well as WhatsApp. But Facebook has admitted to being able to not read the message but the metadata and the geolocation and other small pieces of data to me that’s not end-to-end encryption.

Services like Skype and Google Hangouts do not support end-to-end encryption meaning Microsoft and Google can read your messages or pictures. Any message that goes over  WIFI or the cellular can be spied on if not using end-to-end encryption. That goes for SMS text messages as well which are never encrypted.

Snapchat like Facebook has enabled end-to-end encryption with a catch. End-To-End encryption is used for photographs exchanged between Snapchat users but text messages and other messages transmitted using Snapchat are not encrypted. Meaning Snapchat can see the data.

Telegram offers encrypted. It secures everything, including chats, groups, media, and so on. But it’s not on by default to use Telegram’s end-to-end encryption, you must start a secret chat by tapping the person’s name, the more or menu button, and Start Secret Chat. Secret chats appear separately from non-secret chats

If you want to keep your data private from someone, I suggest using iMessage or Signal for everything.

Dangers of Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is something almost everyone uses currently and has become used even more due to the data caps on cell phone plans. Places like restaurants, hotels, and many other establishments offer free Wi-Fi while you enjoy your stay at their place of business, but these free Wi-Fi networks are usually very insecure. Before I go into the danger of free Wi-Fi let me explain to you the difference between secure and insecure wireless connections.

A secure wireless network means that to join your device (tablet, smartphone, or laptop) to the wireless you need the password to the wireless network. For example, where you work has a secure wireless and only machines allowed by the network administrator are allowed or your home where you only allow family and friends on your network.

These places are secure and for the most part, places were using your device is safe and free of information scanners that might get data off your device. Some home routers even have a guest and a secure wireless connection this is called a segmented network. What that means is if a friend would say come over for drinks you could give them the guest password to your Wi-Fi while your work laptop is upstairs on the secure Wi-Fi. This means that whatever happens on your work laptop cannot be affected by your friend’s device if it should have a virus or something that could cause harm to your laptop.

Unsecured wireless is basically the hotel wireless, café wireless, or bar wireless system. These are places that have no password on their wireless and let anyone who wants to connect to them here is how these networks are dangerous.

Say you decide to go out to the bar and the reception on your phone is not the best and you decide to connect to the wireless so you can surf the web while you are waiting for your food. While surfing the web you check in on Facebook then go to Instagram to check on photos then you check on your orders on Amazon you have coming.

A skilled hacker could sit two seats or more away hooked up to the same network running a network scanner. A network scanner reveals vulnerabilities on devices on a network that pose a serious risk to security regardless of Firewall or AV. A vulnerability is a system weakness that can be exploited by a hacker, to get unauthorized access to an electronic device.

Let’s say you’re running an outdated or old version of Android which has a security vulnerability that lets the attacker see your network data you can now become a target. This kind of thing does happen on both Android and iOS remember a smartphone is a computer. Security vulnerabilities get found all the time and hackers know about them quickly some of the best places to use them are places with free Wi-Fi. Sometimes hackers hang out in the parking lots of places with free Wi-Fi, so no one notices them.

I have even seen where hackers themselves set up free Wi-Fi just so you connect to them so they can try and hack your phone or computer. It’s so important to stay off free Wi-Fi as it can cause you some serious headaches.

Any questions contact us.

3 Browser Extensions to Keep You Safe Online

Third-party browser extensions and plugins are the future of the web browser and there are a few I recommend you use to help keep you safe when you are browsing the internet on your computer and at times even on your smartphone and tablet.

AdBlock and AdBlock Plus

AdBlock is a content filtering and ad blocking extension for the Google Chrome, Apple Safari Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Android, and iOS web browsers. AdBlock allows users to prevent page elements, such as advertisements, from being displayed.

Being someone who owns his own website ads are a very important part of revenue and running an ad blocker can at times hurt sites revenue streams. For those legit sites you can turn the AdBlock off but many non-legit sites can sell ad space to shady advertisers and they can actually infect your computer with little things like trackers or even a virus this is where AdBlock comes into play and can protect your computer.


Ghostery is a privacy and security-related browser extension and mobile browser application available for Google Chrome, Apple Safari Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Android, Firefox for Android and iOS web browsers.

Ghostery enables its users to detect and block JavaScript “tags” and “trackers” in many web pages, largely invisible to the user. These tags and trackers collect user’s browsing habits via HTTP cookies, as well as participating in more sophisticated forms of tracking. Ghostery blocks HTTP requests and redirects according to their source address when a tracker is blocked, any cookie that the tracker has placed is not accessible to anyone but the user and thus cannot be read.

uBlock Origin

uBlock Origin is a free and open-source, cross-platform browser extension for content-filtering, including ad-blocking. The extension is available for several browsers: Google Chrome, Apple Safari Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Chromium.

uBlock Origin’s stated purpose is to give users the means to enforce their own content-filtering choices. As of 2018, uBlock Origin continues to be actively developed and maintained by founder and lead developer Raymond Hill.

The Importance of Deleting Old Accounts

One thing to be very careful about is closing an email account. I know a lot of people are going to say what the danger in deleting an old email account is. There can be a lot of problems with closing an old email. To start with an email address, like @gmail,, may recycle emails. If I created an email account today on Yahoo and deleted it, you could get that email if you wanted in 60 days. This is not a problem for an email account that was hardly ever used but what if you delete that email account and someone gets it and it was tied to an old credit card or old friends that may send you an email it would be very easy for the hacker to scam a friend for money or get a new credit card sent to a P.O. Box cause they are the owner of the email address on file.

The other thing to be very concerned about is old social media accounts. Believe it or not, you can still get into your Myspace Account if you really want to and look up old pictures it’s still around. I bet if you really wanted to you could even get into your old ICQ account that’s still around as well if you could remember your original number. My point is these old accounts can still be out there. Now granted these old accounts are not tied to anything but what about an old Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, or a Gmail account.

Many people over the years have said to me “Well I don’t use that old Facebook account after my ex, and I broke up I opened a new one.” Which might be a great idea but that old account is still sitting out there with pictures, information and verified by Facebook. What if someone were to get the password to that old account and send out a virus or spyware to those people still on your contact list.

What if that old Facebook account is tied to something like a login to a website? Even worse what if that old Amazon account still has an old credit card on file even if it’s out data information do you still want attackers to access that information.

My point is just because you never touch an old account does not mean it’s closed or deleted. Please be careful with how you handle accounts online.

For more information contact us.

Spam And Phishing E-Mails How They Work

One thing to be careful about is if you are getting emails from sites, you have never used or sometimes do use that could be a phishing email. Phishing emails are typically fraudulent email messages appearing to come from legitimate enterprises (e.g., your university, your Internet service provider, your bank). These messages usually direct you to a spoofed or fake website or otherwise get you to divulge private information (e.g., passphrase, credit card, or other account updates). the perpetrators then use this private information to commit identity theft.

Another thing to be careful about when using your email is spam. Spam email is a form of commercial advertising which is economically viable because email is a very cost-effective medium for the sender. If just a fraction of the recipients of a spam message purchase the advertised product, the spammers are making money and the spam problem is perpetuated. Spammers harvest recipient addresses from publicly accessible sources, use programs to collect addresses on the web, and simply use dictionaries to make automated guesses at common usernames at a given domain.

Spam is increasingly sent from computers infected by computer viruses. Virus-makers and spammers are combining their efforts to compromise innocent computer users’ systems and converting them into spam-sending “drones” or “zombies”. These malicious programs spread rapidly and generate massive amounts of spam pretending to be sent from legitimate addresses. Spammers use specially designed software to generate false email headers and from addresses. Several email users have been affected by falsified messages claiming to be from the service’s administrators, stating that users’ account is closed and require some action by the user to be reopened. Such messages often contain viruses and should be ignored or deleted.

The general rule of thumb is if an email is in your spam folder it’s probably junk and should just be deleted. Programs like Norton, McAfee, and AVG scan incoming emails when you are using an email client like Outlook or Thunderbird but when using email online like in Chrome or Firefox the software can’t protect for the safest email experience, I recommend using a client with a good antivirus.

When hijackers succeed in sending spam via an email service, it can be temporarily blocked by other services and private domains that try to protect themselves. It’s important that email users protect their own accounts with strong passwords to prevent their accounts from being hijacked. It’s important for all computer owners to install and maintain anti-virus software to avoid having their computer infected and possibly become a source of spam without their knowing. Enabling Two Factor Authentication on accounts is a good idea as we if you wanted added protection on your accounts.

Mac And PC Hard Drive Encryption

The one thing you could do to protect your computer in the case of theft is drive encryption. Many people say to me if they steal my laptop who cares its password protected but I always ask if the hard drive is encrypted. Just because it has a password does not mean a skilled hacker cannot hook your device to a computer and get the data this is where drive encryption comes into play.

Let me explain what exactly disk encryption is first. Drive encryption is a technology that protects information by converting it into an unreadable code that cannot be deciphered easily by unauthorized people. Drive encryption uses encryption software or hardware to encrypt every bit of data that goes on a disk or disk volume. It is used to prevent unauthorized access to data storage.

Now I know this seems very overwhelming but it’s not. Both Windows and Mac have disk encryption as built-in options in this modern era of computing. If you are using a Chromebook, you are lucky you don’t have to do anything the disk is always encrypted. Only the signed-in user can access their profile data. there is no administrator account that can access everything. So, your data on the Chromebook is always the safest.

Microsoft Windows has its own version of encryption called BitLocker.

To Enable Bitlocker just go to Control Panel – All Control Panel Items – BitLocker Drive Encryption. Just click Turn on BitLocker.

Follow the onscreen instructions they are easy.

On a Mac, it’s easy as well and with the integration of Apple iCloud its easier than ever to turn on the Apple version of drive encryption called FileVault.

Just click on System Preferences – Security and Privacy – Click on the FileVault Tab – Click Turn On File Vault

You will then be asked for your iCloud account info and that’s about it

Personally, I like to use a third-party tool called Symantec PGP Full Disk Encryption as it’s a third-party tool and the inventor of PGP Encryption Phil Zimmermann works for Symantec. Zimmermann is the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the most widely used encryption protocol in the world. Symantec PGP Full Disk Encryption will be overkill for most, but you do get much more options than you do with Microsoft or Apple. But for just the average user the built options in Windows and Mac are more than secure enough.  Anyone dealing with sensitive data should use drive encryption.

Any questions about drive encryption contact us.