Security Concerns With Public Wi-Fi Access

I have heard much about how Wi-Fi is not secure. Yet, last week a news report lead me to believe that the problem is when people log into Wi-Fi networks where the administrator/company is unknown and unscrupulous as they can see what you are doing and then steal passwords, credit card numbers, and so on. The report inferred that a Wi-Fi network is OK if it is from a trusted source like your known hotel chain or Starbucks where the network manager wouldn’t do that – we assume anyway.

Is this true that the problem comes from is who is running the network or are all Wi-Fi open networks easily open to hackers and theft? A follow up question, would a Wi-Fi network from a trusted source with a simple access password for all (even if given to a hacker) stop all the problems? And are there actual ways that one can securely use public Wi-Fi networks without worries of hackers and possible theft of personal information?