Many of those dusty cafes have since shut down as travelers use their own devices and cheap Wi-Fi connections the world. In short, if you have any other way of getting online, use it.
Networks that need a password aren’t much better than those that don’t — how many people have been given the details for your hostel’s Wi-Fi this month?
When was that password on the café chalkboard last changed?
You have to assume that other people can connect to the network you’re using.
Once they’ve done that, any data you don’t protect are at risk. Let’s face it, there’s always something much more interesting to do…right up to the point where you lose the thousands of photos you’ve taken on your trip, or the phone number and email address of everyone you’ve met.
Someone can literally sit drinking a coffee in the corner while their computer scans and saves your personal information. Laptops get stolen, hard drives break, phones get dropped in the toilet, memory cards get corrupted.