We have robust cryptosystems that are pretty good at ensuring privacy and integrity of messages, and we have widespread communications protocols to implement them. Nowadays, virtually any serious website uses HTTPS, at least for authentication or sensitive parts. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and so on all use HTTPS. For most people, that will be 95%+ of the websites they commonly use.
Therefore I don’t really get the point of all the public awareness campaigns about ’unsecure networks’. In fact, I don’t understand why there are unsecure networks in 2017 at all. Wasn't HTTPS specifically designed for this reason? Who cares about MitM attacks, if the man in the middle only reads a bunch of random ciphertext? Why should I worry about accessing my Gmail account from an airport or a fastfood? Isn’t every single bit RSA-encrypted from my computer to the datacenter anyway?
Sure, everyone may know that someone used Gmail, but as long as they don’t get any more information I’m fine with that. I know you can find extreme exemples where you need to encrypt the whole stuff and to hide even the very fact that you went to this website, to hide the very fact that you used this network, etc... But in this case you will be at home with a VPN and strong stuff, not in the nearest KFC with your smartphone connected to their free WiFi network. When we say free wifi we think of messaging apps, e-mail, checking facts with Google searches, Facebook, YouTube, etc. And this is pretty safe most of the time.
Some websites still use HTTP, but if you’re sending credit card details or top-secret communications over HTTP you have a problem anyway, even if you do it at home. And most HTTP websites are just a static webpages presenting a restaurant menu, an event, etc. so hardly sensitive stuff.
Therefore, why are we warned so severely about the security of the networks we use? Why is it still a bad practice to use public WiFi, for instance?