I came across the following diagram on how a VPN (Virtual Private Network) functions, and
thought it might be of interest if you perhaps would want to use a VPN on public wifi networks:
You'll notice your request (message) is encrypted between you and the VPN server, and
may even be encrypted from the VPN server to the internet if you're using a "https" connection,
like with a bank or merchant where use of a credit card is required.
Where it says "VPN Client", that is the specific VPN program you are using. Since the use of
VPNs is becoming more popular, especially if one uses public wifi frequently, there are many
good ones available. Several even offer 'free' VPN programs with limited usage. The intent
here is to get you 'hooked' so you'll want to upgrade to their paid version. A Google search
will get you many results for VPNs. The Opera browser even has a free, built-in VPN.
Since I use public wifi often when we travel, I've become a fan of using one. Is it necessary,
one might ask? My answer is to ask: 'is using an Antivirus program necessary?' Possibly not,
but both give me increased peace of mind, with little or no downside.