Using the Python DB API, don't do this:

# Do NOT do it this way.
cmd = "update people set name='%s' where id='%s'" % (name, id)

This builds a SQL string using Python's string formatting, but it creates an unsafe string that is then passed through to the database and executed.

Instead, do this:

cmd = "update people set name=%s where id=%s"
curs.execute(cmd, (name, id))

This sets up placeholders so that the database can fill in the data values properly and safely.

For cases involving a single variable do this:

cmd = "SELECT * FROM PEOPLE WHERE name = %s"
curs.execute(cmd, (name,))

Note that the placeholder syntax depends on the database you are using.

'qmark'         Question mark style,
                e.g. '...WHERE name=?'
'numeric'       Numeric, positional style,
                e.g. '...WHERE name=:1'
'named'         Named style,
                e.g. '...WHERE name=:name'
'format'        ANSI C printf format codes,
                e.g. '...WHERE name=%s'
'pyformat'      Python extended format codes,
                e.g. '...WHERE name=%(name)s'

The values for the most common databases are:

>>> import MySQLdb; print MySQLdb.paramstyle  # MySQL
>>> import oursql; print oursql.paramstyle    # MySQL also
>>> import psycopg2; print psycopg2.paramstyle  # PostgreSQL
>>> import pymssql; pymssql.paramstyle        # MS SQL Server
>>> import sqlite3; print sqlite3.paramstyle

So if you are using MySQL or PostgreSQL, use %s (even for numbers and other non-string values!) and if you are using SQLite use ?.

If you are using ODBC to connect to the DB, regardless of which DB it is, use ?.