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Monday, January 16, 2017

1775. Deal with Calendar Spam

I don’t even understand how this is possible, but recently, I’ve been getting a bunch of calendar meeting requests that are clearly spam: They’re mostly advertisements for Ray-ban sunglasses or something like that. I use meeting requests often for work, so I don’t want to completely turn them off. What’s up with these irritating, totally unsolicited meeting requests?

Welcome to the world of the public Internet. I've only heard of this happening on the Macs with the standard calendar application but it could happen to anyone. Spammers have found a new vector for bombarding unsuspecting folks with stupid and irritating advertising until Apple fixes the problem.

There's not much you can do. You could of course simply decline the meeting request doing so however alerts the spammers they have reached a live email address and that's never a good thing. Except in your replying maybe has the same effect. So you really don't want to click any of those links in the meeting request.

Apple's aware of the problem and recently they've added an option to the calendar application to at least report the spam but that doesn't really solve the problem until they find a way to block it. You need some way to handle it yourself. There's a couple of alternatives I've read about and if you need some way to handle it.

You can try one of these two things. One of them is to log into iCloud via a web browser access the calendar settings and then select to receive all calendar event invitations via e-mail. It's easy enough to redirect all emails like that to a particular folder or just delete them. That means you won't see event invitations in your calendar however which is really where you want to get them.

Another alternative is to create a new calendar. Maybe you call it spam. Then when spammy event invitations show up, you just move them to that new calendar. Doing that doesn't alert the sender that you receive the invitation. You can hide this calendar so it doesn't show up and occasionally simply delete that calendar and create a new one. That means you never touch the invitations individually except to move them to a new calendar.

Like I said neither of these solutions is perfect and I have thoughts on what I'd like to do to the jerks who spam me this way but until Apple works out a way to just simply block them, these are the best solutions we have to offer.

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