Apparently HTTPS Will Save You
Many years ago Eric Butler released a program called Firesheep which showed just how amazingly insecure HTTP over public WiFi was, not to mention exposing the bad habits of web surfers in general. Now that HTTPS is enabled for the vast majority of websites and applications, especially email programs, most of your communications are encrypted in some way which resolves the insecurity which Firesheep took advantage of. In practice this means that even when you connec to a unsecured public WiFi network you should still be relatively protected. That is not to say that a public network is as secure as one requiring authentication as in that case you can be guaranteed even your HTTP traffic is somewhat protected/
Take a look at the story over at Slashdot to see if you agree with the EFF’s findings.
If you follow security on the Internet, you may have seen articles warning you to “beware of public Wi-Fi networks" in cafes, airports, hotels, and other public places. But now, due to the widespread deployment of HTTPS encryption on most popular websites, advice to avoid public Wi-Fi is mostly out of date and applicable to a lot fewer people than it once was.