iCloud Calendar spam has been a problem for many users since 2016 and earlier, and Apple has made a handful of changes and improvements to remedy the situation. Despite Apple’s best efforts, however, the problem continues to affect iCloud users, and it’s once again receiving widespread attention.
There are multiple ways spam calendars have been delivered to users over the years. For instance, in 2016, we highlighted how iCloud users were receiving spam Calendar and Photo Sharing invitations. As we wrote then:
Essentially what happens in these instances is an iCloud user will receive a request for either a Calendar event or to view/share an iCloud Photo Sharing album or image. The issue with this type of spam is that, even if the user hits “Decline,” it informs the spammer that the account is active and thus encourages them to continue sending the spam.
So, if you receive a Calendar invite that’s spam and simply choose the “Decline” option, the problem won’t go away. In fact, it’s likely to increase because the spammer knows that the account is active.
Calendar spam is also commonly distributed through pop-ups on shady websites. A new thread on Reddit this week has garnered nearly 5,000 upvotes and is calling on Apple to roll out additional protections against these pop-ups. This thread is what’s put the Calendar spam problem back in the spotlight once again.
In many instances, this is a simple pop-up that will appear as a Safari dialog box when you visit certain websites. The pop-up simply asks whether you would like to add a rogue calendar subscription, and apparently many people simply tap “OK” to move on to the next screen and continue to load the web page.
The problem of calendar spam on iPhone has become so widespread that Apple has even published a video on YouTube on how to remove calendar spam. Apple says you should:
- Open the Calendar app
- Tap a spam event
- Look for the “Unsubscribe from this Calendar” button at the bottom
Doing this will automatically remove all other spam events from that specific calendar from your iPhone. You’ll need to repeat the process, however, if you’ve managed to subscribe to multiple spam calendars. This process is significantly easier than it used to be, indicating that Apple is aware of the problem and working to make changes.
Apple also rolled out a new “Report Junk” button to iCloud Calendars, which helps users remove unwanted junk from their calendars. Apple’s efforts, however, have focused mainly on iCloud calendar invite spam, rather than spam and junk calendar events added because of Safari pop-ups.
The best thing you can do, however, is always make sure you always thoroughly read pop-up notifications in Safari and not randomly click through to load webpages as quickly as possible.
Have you ever experienced spam events appearing in your Calendar app? Let us know down in the comments!