How to keep spam from invading your Google Calendar
Block unwanted ‘invitations’
The company today announced that it ' s working on resolving the issue, but isn't ready to share any details just yet. Scammers abused Gmail's default setting that automatically creates calendar items from We're aware of the spam occurring in Calendar and are working diligently to resolve this issue.
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
If you opened upCalendar sometime in the last few weeks only to find your schedule filled with things like "WIN A FREE iPHONE!" or "CHEAP RAYBANS HERE", you're by no means the only one.
Spammers have found a way to trick Google Calendar into adding these things to your calendar without you doing anything. Google says it's aware of the issue, and is working on it.
So what's going on here?
At some point, Google Calendar picked up a feature that automatically adds any event you're invited to right onto your calendar, presumably to keep the invite from getting lost in your inbox. The problem: there... doesn't seem to be much of a filter. If a bot gets your email address and throws it on an invite which gets past Google's anti-spam system, bam — it's on your calendar as if you added it yourself.
How to stop Google Calendar invite spam
Spam is bad enough in email. Here's how to stop it from invading your calendar too
Google says it ’ s hard at work resolving an issue that allows malicious third parties to hijack your Google Calendar with unremovable spam invites. The message includes a link to another help page that tells you how to report the unwanted invites or events. Google also advises you never respond to
Google doesn't show the number of pages in the index on its homepage, but a good way to find it is to search for "* *". The resulting number is 25,270,000,000. Google says their index is more than 3 times larger than any other search engine. But what kind of pages are included in this huge index?
Google's acknowledgement of the issue, first, comes in the form of a pinned post on the Google Calendar . It reads, simply:
We're aware of the spam occurring in Calendar and are working diligently to resolve this issue. We'll post updates to this thread as they become available.. Thank you for your patience.
In the meantime: if your calendar is filled with repeating spam events, you should be able to remove them in batches by going to Google Calendar on your computer, clicking one of the recurring spam events in question, clicking the three dot button near the top right of the pop up, and hitting "Report as spam".
You can also outright disable the feature that is auto-adding invites to your calendar until Google figures out a better way to keep spammers out.
Keep spam out of your Google Calendar
Spammers have found a new way to spam your Google Calendar.
On your computer, open Google Calendar . Go to the area in Calendar that you want to send feedback on. If you see a suspicious invitation or event on your calendar , report it as spam . On your computer, open Google Calendar . At the top right, click Settings menu Settings.
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To disable the "automatically add invite" function:
- Go to Google Calendar on your computer
- Click the cog in the upper right, then hit settings
- On the list on the left, click "Event settings".
- Look for the "Automatically add invitations" option. Change this to "No, only show invitations to which I have responded."
As security researcher Brian Krebs, a lot of these invites come with URLs attached. For a whole list of reasons (like avoiding malicious pages, phishing sites, etc), you probably don't want to go clicking those.
Google Calendar will guess your working hours and warn colleagues.
Google Calendar's Working Hours feature has been around for a while, letting you inform others when you'll be around for meetings and when you're unavailable. Previously, you'll have had to activate it through the app's settings, but now it'll be enabled by default, displaying an estimate of your work day availability based on previous appointments (which you can tweak if they're not quite right). If you're creating an event, you'll get a warning notification that "some people might decline" if you schedule it outside of other people's working hours, which will be displayed in a new grid view.