Spammers have found a way to add unwanted phishing and scam events to people’s Google Calendars without their permission. Here’s how to stop spammers from adding things to your calendar without your permission.
As detailed on OneZero by How-To Geek’s former Editor-in-Chief, Whitson Gordon, Google Calendar (by default) shows event invites whether the user has accepted them or not. Spammers are using the loophole to flood people’s calendars with malicious links and other derogatory text.
Stop Calendar From Adding Invites Automatically
One of Google Calendar’s default settings is to add event invites automatically to the calendar. To turn this off, click on the gear icon found in the top-right of the display and then select “Settings”.
Next, choose “Event settings” found in the left sidebar.
Locate the drop-down that’s labeled “Automatically add invitations”. Click on the arrow.
Lastly, select “No, only show invitations to which I have responded”.
Stop Calendar From Adding Events From Gmail
Google Calendar also pulls events directly from Gmail. If someone emails you an invite—sometimes even when it goes to the spam folder—it ends up on your calendar. To turn off this feature, head back into the Settings menu by clicking on the gear icon and selecting “Settings”.
Next, choose “Events from Gmail” from the left sidebar.
Uncheck the box next to “Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar”.
Google Calendar will ask you to confirm this action. Click “OK” to approve the change.
Hide Declined Calendar Invites
If you’ve gone through and declined the spammy calendar events, they’ll still show up in Google Calendar but crossed out. The reason for this is that it continues to display declined events by default.
To turn the feature off, head back to Google Calendar’s Settings menu. As mentioned before, you get there by clicking on the gear icon and then selecting “Settings”.
Once there, choose “View options” located in the left sidebar.
Uncheck the box next to “Show declined events” to remove the diminished invites.
Hide Declined Events on Mobile
Oddly enough, when you decide to hide declined events from the desktop view, they still appear in the Android, iPhone, and iPad apps. If you want them not to be shown, launch the mobile app, open the overflow menu by tapping on the hamburger icon in the top-left corner, scroll down, and tap on “Settings”.
Next, select “General”.
Lastly, toggle off “Show declined events”.
A growing number of people online have been reporting this tactic being used to spam their Google Calendars. Google hasn’t released a response to the incidents at the time of this writing, but hopefully, some of these default settings get disabled in the future.