Publicly available WiFi hotspots are great. Your phone connects and uses these hotspots to access apps and the internet without accruing data charges etc. What could go wrong? What if this WiFi hotspot is run by a hacker intent on gleaning personal and financial information from your phone? Everything transferred to and from your phone, over the WiFi hotspot can be collected and used for malicious ends.
And it’s not only hackers who can use these hotspots to ‘spy’ on you, companies – even employers – who offer free WiFi can do so also.
When out and about it is a good idea to either turn off your phone’s WiFi, or at least set it to alert you before automatically connecting to WiFi hotspots. If you are really paranoid you can always utilize airplane mode.