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How to Stop Google Calendar Spam

Here is how to remove Google Calendar spam and stop it from happening again.

by Joseph Cox
Aug 27 2019, 5:54pm

Image: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

If you use Google Calendar, you may have noticed an uptick in the amount of weird, annoying Calendar spam. This is where someone will send you an invite to a non-existent event, along with a bogus message such as you've won a new mobile phone. The spam technique itself isn't new, but this week users on Twitter appeared to be seeing more of it than usual.

Fortunately there is a way to stop spammers clogging up your calendar, albeit with something of a trade-off: you need to turn off the setting that automatically adds invitations to your calendar.

To do that, go to Google Calendar, click the "Settings Menu" in the top right corner, the one with the cog symbol. In the "General" tab, click "Event Settings," and then "Automatically add invitations." Then select "No, only show invitations to which I have responded."

This means you're going to have to make do with only having events you've deliberately responded to appearing on your calendar. You'll have to keep on top of those invites coming in, but at least it may stop the spam.

You should also report the event as spam. To do that, log into Calendar on a computer and double click on the event, then select "More Options," and "Report as Spam." This will remove all of the organizer's events from your calendar.

Google says it is also working on new ways that should stop the spammers too.

"While we've made great progress, sometimes spam gets through, so we are investing in new ways for users to identify and block spammers and we expect these changes to roll out over the coming months," a Google spokesperson wrote in an email.

Do you work at Google? Did you used to? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, OTR chat on jfcox@jabber.ccc.de, or email joseph.cox@vice.com.

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