Google Calendar Spam: How to Stop Being Bombarded by Unwanted Calendar Invites

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Spammers have recently been spotted exploiting Google Calendar to deliver spam to users.  A simple default setting is being misused to insert advertisement-like invitations in your schedule. These spam ads could be filled with malicious links, and clicking on them may lead to a potential theft of private data. This Google Calendar spam was detected a few months ago, and it’s been on a rise since then. For this reason, we have detailed a step-by-step guide that will help you to get rid of all the spam in Google Calendar.

1) To stop the spam, the first step is to disable an option that is kept turned on by default.

  • Click on the Gear button at the top of Google Calendar > Choose Settings.
  • Select ‘Event Settings’ from the list seen on the left.
  • There will be an option called ‘Automatically add invitations’ that will have been enabled, and users need to instead change that and select “No, only show invitations to which I have responded” option from the list.

This change will now only add a meeting to your calendar after you accept the meeting invitation, and no automatic additions will be entertained. This will let you keep your Google Calendar neat and spam-free.

2) Users then need to stop Gmail from sending all events to your calendar

  • In the left menu, click on an option called ‘Events from Gmail’
  • Deselect ‘Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar’
  • A warning that will read, ‘You’ll no longer see events automatically added from your email. Previously added events from Gmail will be removed’ will show up. Click Okay.

3) It is also best to get rid of past spam invitations by going to ‘View options’ section in ‘Event Settings’ in the left menu and deselecting ‘Show declined events’.

The steps were detailed by The Verge in a guide last week, and we’ve tried them all to verify the procedures. 

In a recent report, Kaspersky says that using phishing links in Google Calendar spam, unethical spammers try to get your bank card details, or ask for a transfer fee. “Attackers are also adept at using Google Calendar to set up fake polls for which a reward is likewise offered. And there is nothing to prevent them from using this same loophole to distribute other types of spam or phishing, as well as malware,” the blog post says.

It is best that users use the above method to keep Google Calendar spammers at bay.

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Tasneem Akolawala

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