My Calendar Was Hacked…What now?

Sebastian Abbinanti Perspectives

Lately, we have seen an uptick in Calendar Spam. In the last couple of weeks, users saw calendar entries that they did not make. These are the result of Calendar Spam.

Did you get a Calendar Alert stating "Your iPhone XsMAX is ready for PickUp"?

At first glance, you might think that someone has hacked your e-mail account and added calendar entries. On your way to that bad place, you might contemplate what they may have seen, copied, and sent from your e-mail. It's most likely spam and not a hack.

The default settings on most of our calendar clients--including Outlook, Mac Calendar, and iPhones and Android phones--is to add events to our calendars automatically. Events are added even if we haven't RSVP'ed to the event.

Under most circumstances, automatically adding events to your calendar is a good thing. For me, I enjoy the fact that flight information and hotel stays are automatically added to my calendar after booking.

Since calendar invites are sent via e-mail, they too are susceptible to spam. If you have the default setting of automatically adding the events, these spam invites will find their way to your calendar.

What about my Spam Filter?

For those of you that use anything other than Gmail, your spam filter will hold the invite, and it pretty much ends there. Gmail, however, does not differentiate between Spam and Ham (Ham is the goofy techno word for not spam). Even though the Gmail Spam engine caught the offending calendar invite and dumped it into the spam folder, it still shows up in your calendar.

You have options!

Gmail users can head on over to the calendar settings and change the way Gmail will handle e-mailed calendar invites. Just click on the calendar icon on the right side of the screen, and then click the "Open in new tab" button. Now you should see the calendar settings screen--if you don't, click on the gear.

Next, click "Event Settings" on the left, and under the "Automatically add invitations" drop-down menu, select the option that best meets your needs.

Spam is an unfortunate shortcoming of the Internet. At the time the current e-mail protocol was developed, no one envisioned the e-mail-bourne threats we face today. A trusted technology partner can provide your business with the tools and the knowledge to keep you safe.