How To Keep Spam Out Of Your Google Calendar

Scammers and spammers have been wriggling their way into unsuspecting users’ Google Calendars for years now, but there’s been a swell of headlines on Google Calendar phishing scams over the past few weeks. Here’s why.

By default, Google Calendar will add events to your calendar whenever you receive an invite, even if you never clicked ‘accept’. As long as someone can blast invites your way, it’s easy for them to sneak garbage onto your Google Calendar.

Worse, even if you diligently decline events you don’t recognise, Calendar will still display events you’ve declined, meaning those phishy links will stick around, too.

Thankfully, a few changes to Google Calendar’s default settings can help keep block these auto-add phishing scams from making their way into your events list:

  1. Open Google Calendar on your desktop, as the first setting you’ll adjust isn’t accessible from the mobile version.

  2. Click the cog-shaped settings icon, then click Settings.

  3. Go to the ‘Event Settings’ tab.

  4. Find the option ‘Automatically add invitations’ and click the drop-down menu.

  5. Select ‘No, only show invitations to which I’ve responded’. This will prevent event invites you haven’t accepted or declined from showing up on your calendar(s).

  6. Next, go to the ‘View Options’ tab

  7. Make sure the box next to ‘Show declined events’ is unchecked. That will remove any declined event from your calendar.

  8. Finally, look for the ‘Events from Gmail’ section, and uncheck ‘Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar’.

After you’ve made these changes on the desktop version, you should double check that declined events won’t show up on mobile, too:

  1. Open the Google Calendar app

  2. Tap the ‘hamburger’ icon to open the side menu

  3. Scroll down and tap ‘Settings’

  4. Tap ‘General’

  5. Disable the slider next to ‘Show declined events’.

Finally, since these scam events are often sent via mass email invites, it’s helpful to flag and report suspicious emails or invites you receive to Google.

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