Are wireless connections at hotspots safe?

Think about this:  When you use a public hotspot, even one you pay for, why do you always get a warning that anything on this network can be seen by others?  Well, because it’s true.

To drive the point home, a large hacker convention features the “Wall of Shame.” It displays a steady stream of usernames and passwords gathered at the event as people enter them while using the free Wi-Fi public network. (See also, Is there any way to be safe using a public Wi-Fi?)