What’s the risk?
I am NOT an alarmist and I tend to be skeptical about such things, but I guarantee that if you use open Wi-Fi hotspots, at some point someone has deliberately tried to intercept and take advantage of your private information.
It’s not trivial to take advantage of spoofing (impersonating) an open wifi hotspot, but IT IS very easy to spoof — as easy as renaming your wireless router SSID to “Starbucks Wifi”.
What can you do?
As the article says, the best solution is to encrypt your communication from beginning to end using a VPN. In layman’s terms, this means that although you are allowing strangers to handle your ietween you and the destination, it is being wrapped up in a way that is nearly impossible to decipher.
You’ll notice a little slow down. A decent VPN service is not free, but set aside some time now to find a service and start using it!