Have you ever glanced at your phone’s calendar and seen a “reminder” to enter a sweepstakes or an invite to some event you’ve never heard of? Or something, well, yuckier.
Welcome to calendar spam.
Spam can strike from anywhere, not just our inboxes or in unwanted phone calls. Calendar spam can be particularly bothersome, especially if you receive alarm reminders that set off a tone at regular intervals.
People sometimes subscribe to a spam calendar accidentally after entering their email address on a website, or hackers get in via your contacts list after breaching one of the contacts. Sometimes the events on the calendar are pornographic, other times people will be redirected to a fake security website offering to rid them of hackers.
The tech website Komando says Gmail calendar and iCloud are affected equally.
The good news is that your phone probably hasn’t been compromised and you simply need to unsubscribe to the calendar events.
On an iPhone, the steps include opening the calendar app, tapping the unwanted event, then tapping “Unsubscribe from this Calendar” at the bottom of the screen, and then tap “Unsubscribe” to confirm.
For Google calendar, open the calendar and then tap the settings cog and select Settings, then Event Settings. Change “Automatically add invitations” to “No, only show invitations to which I have responded.” Scroll down to “View Options” and uncheck the box that says “Show declined events” so you can avoid being shown the spam you’ve declined.