It's bad enough that we have to deal with spam daily in our inbox. The other day, I noticed a new type of spam. Spam events appeared in my Google Calendar. Being in a relatively inactive account, I didn't notice immediately. The events, obviously spam and probable phishing attempts, reminded me that I won an iPhone X Max.
Given that I never participated in such a contest, along with the obvious spam link, I began to wonder how they got there in the first place. I could not find any email in my inbox with such an event, so it was not added from there. I also checked my spam folder and also saw nothing that could have activated it. The next thing I thought was that maybe they hacked me, but I have 2FA activated, so it couldn't be that …
Then, of course, I turned to Google to find the problem. As a result, all someone has to do is invite them to an "event" and will automatically add it to their Google Calendar by default. While I should receive an email for the invitation, as mentioned earlier, I couldn't find one that seemed related. In any case, yes, there is a setting that automatically adds invitations and is set to "Yes" by default.
The good news is that it is very easy to disable with three simple steps.
First, open your Google Calendar on the desktop and click on the setup gear in the upper right corner.
Next, select the menu item Event Settings in General on the left side.
Finally, change Add invitations automatically to "No, just show the invitation to which I responded."
Once you have done that, spam events should disappear from your calendar. If the event has already passed or you declined, you can hide it from your calendar by going to See options in the menu on the left and unchecking "Show rejected events".
If you want to go one step further, you can also deactivate Gmail events that are automatically added. However, keep in mind that your reservations or flights will no longer be added to your Google Calendar, which, in my opinion, is a useful feature. To disable this, simply select Gmail Events from the menu on the left and uncheck "Automatically add Gmail events to my calendar.
While activating such settings by default has good intentions, the sad reality is that spammers and hackers are constantly looking for ways to try to trick users into clicking on their links for various purposes.
Have you received spam events in your Google Calendar? Was this quick guide helpful to remove them? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook or MeWe.
Last update on August 26, 2019
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