How to Get Rid of Apple Calendar Spam

(The Washington Post) -

Apple users who’ve been receiving a bunch of unwanted Calendar invites lately now have a workaround.

Over the past few weeks, spammers have been sending many iOS Calendar users invitations to events that advertise shopping deals. With these invitations, users are caught in a catch-22 — clicking the “decline” button on the invitation will continue the cycle of spam by validating the person’s email address. The same issue is happening with the iCloud Photo Sharing function, where invitations to view photos or albums are filled with spam messaging. Because both use the invite function synced across iOS and iCloud systems, this kind of spam can’t be caught by standard spam filters.

The issue arises from the iOS Calendar function that automatically sends any calendar or Photo Sharing invitation to each of those apps respectively, bypassing the user’s inbox. This allows spammers to avoid the spam-fighting filters of email inboxes by continually sending messages via calendar or Photo Sharing notification, regardless of whether users accept or decline the invitation.

Apple users have been hitting the forums discussing ways around the issue. The programming forum StackExchange crowd-sourced solutions and came up with the following workaround: Using a desktop computer, log into the iOS Calendar function, select “preferences,” then “advanced,” then switch how invitations are received in the “invitations” section by clicking away from “in-app notifications” to the “email to” option. This will turn off the function that automatically pushes event invitations into the Calendar app and forces them into the regular inbox, meaning that users can delete the invitation rather than being forced to accept or decline it.

Alternatively, a TechCrunch tutorial recommends creating a new and separate calendar to filter spam events into, just like how a spam filter works in most email inboxes. Unwanted messages can be directed to this new spam-specific calendar by opening the invitation and selecting the new calendar destination, then repeating for all invitations from the spam senders. From there, users can delete the spam calendar invitations without notifying the spammer that their address is valid. The key is to hit “delete and don’t notify” to make sure that spammers don’t receive the message.

For Photo Sharing, the only way to fix the issue is by turning off iCloud syncing features, as 9to5Mac explains. Users can navigate to the “settings” menu and hit “disable” for the iCloud Photo Sharing feature.