My boyfriend and I have a shared Google calendar so we can keep track of each other’s various events and commitments, as well as things like concerts and parties we plan to attend together. It’s a great system for us, but this week we ended up with something a little odd on that calendar: “You Have Won iPhone X s from AppleStore.”
The event was added from my boyfriend’s Gmail account, however, he says he never saw an email for the “event” in the first place. It’s also on our calendar five different times.
A quick Google search reveals that calendar spam is apparently a thing now. Spammers have figured out how to infiltrate the most sacred of places, our calendars with promises of free iPhones and losing 23kg in 2 weeks.
The “hack” takes advantage of the Google Calendar feature that automatically adds events you’re invited to via email to your calendar, even if you haven’t RSVP’d to them (or they don’t offer that ability). It’s honestly a feature I kind of enjoy. It automatically adds flight info, which is fantastic,
But like most nice things, the fake iPhone salesman have come to ruin it for all of us.
How to Geek wrote up an explainer this week on how to stop calendar invites from being automatically added to your calendar. When you do you’ll lose the feature entirely, not just block spammers. That said, if you’re getting spammed then it might be the right call.
Here’s how to stop your calendar from adding calendar invites automatically:
Go to the Settings menu by clicking the gear icon at the top right of the calendar page and then selecting “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
Choose “Event Settings” from the left sidebar.
Click the arrow side “Automatically add invitations”
Select “No, only show invitations to which I have responded” from the drop-down menu.
You can also prevent it from adding events from Gmail by going to the settings menu and then:
Select “Events from Gmail” from the left sidebar.
Uncheck the box beside “Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar.
Again, this is kind of an all or nothing thing, so if you’re enjoying the feature then you might want to hold off on changing your settings until calendar spam becomes an issue.
That said, if calendar spam is already giving you headaches, then this can be a quick and easy way to fix it.