fix/tip : how to handle spam iCloud Calendar event invitations ?

Question :

Lately, I received some spam event invitations in Calendar and in my notifications, both on my iPhone/iPad and on my Mac. What can I do to get rid of them ?

 

Answer :

This is a very new and very annoying kind of spam that especially targets iCloud. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t have a proper solution for this problem yet.

While we are waiting for Apple to come up with a solution (let’s hope it will be an “only contacts can send Calendar event invitations” option or a White List or Black List option), there are some things you can do to minimise the annoyance :

BEWARE : do NOT react to the invitation by clicking either “Maybe”, “Decline” nor “Accept” as each of those will send a notification to the sender ! doing so acknowledges to the sender that your iCloud account is active and will therefore trigger more and more spam Calendar invitations for you ! 

Apart from disabling iCloud Calendar event invitations altogether (which you can do on the iCloud.com website), the best option for now is this :

  • in Calendar-app on your Mac, go to File –> New Calendar
  • there you can create a new calendar ; you’ll see it appear in your list of calendars and name it something like “Spam” (or “Trash” or something alike)
  • then look up the spam Calendar entry in your Calendar and right-click on it
  • in the popup-list that appears, select Calendar –> Spam
  • now it will be in your Spam calendar
  • in the list of calendars (on the left) you can now uncheck the Spam calendar to hide this spam event from view
  • now, right-click on the “Spam” name in the list of calendars (on the left)
  • in the popup-list that appears, click on “Get Info”
  • in the pulldown-window that appears, put a checkmark at “Ignore alerts” and click “OK”
  • note : even though it’s annoying, learn to live (for now) with the fact that the spam event invitation will still be listed in your list of Calendar event invitations… if you accidentally clicked on it, click outside the popup-window to close it, do NOT click “Maybe”, “Decline” or “Accept” ! …and yes, the number-badge on your event inbox is annoying and confusing…
  • then, if you see a notification popup floating above your Desktop top right, click on “Close”, to make it go away… do NOT click “Accept” !
  • then, on your iPhone (and/or iPad), open the Calendar-app and click on “Calendars” (bottom middle, between “Today” and “Inbox”)
  • in the Calendars screen that opens, under ICLOUD, find your spam calendar (listed as “Spam” or whatever you named it)
  • first, uncheck the checkmark in front of it (to make the spam calendar invisible)
  • then click on the “i” (info) icon behind it
  • in the Edit Calendar screen that opens, scroll down, and make sure that at NOTIFICATIONS, the switch at “Event Alerts” is OFF
  • then click “Done” to save and exit and click “Done” again to also exit the next screen

Now if you get new spam event invitations, put them in your spam calendar to make them invisible also :

  • either [1] on your iPhone (or iPad) : look up the spam event in your calendar (not in your Inbox), it will be a greyed-out event, click on it and in the next screen (“Event Details”) at “Calendar” set it to “Spam” (or whatever you named your spam calendar)
  • or [2] on your Mac : look up the spam event in your calendar (not in your Event Inbox, nor in your Notifications), it will be a greyed-out event, right-click on it, then set Calendar to “Spam” (or whatever you named your spam calendar)

If you really want to get rid of all spam events, spam event badges and spam event notifications you can also completely delete your spam calendar, by doing this :

  • either [1] on your iPhone (or iPad) : in Calendar-app, click on “Calendars” (bottom middle) and in the next screen (“Calendars”) at “Spam” click on the “i” (info) icon ; then in the next screen (“Edit Calendar”), scroll down and click on “Delete Calendar”
  • or [2] on your Mac : in Calendar-app click on “Calendars” until the list of your calendars appears at the left, then go to “Spam”, right-click on it and select “Delete” from the popup-list

That’s it…

However : if you only get very few spam event invitations, you can delete the “Spam” calendar each time, but if you frequently get spam event invitations that will cost you too much time, don’t bother doing it each and every time…

Good Luck !

Let’s hope Apple comes up with a proper solution soon 😉

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fixed : “Your browser is not supported” error in Safari on iCloud.com

Question :

I have OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion with Safari 6, but when I try to log in on iCloud.com, I get a message saying “Your browser is not supported. To use iCloud, we recommend using the latest version of Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.”

The error on iCloud.com is the worst, but I also get reminders on other sites like Facebook and ANWB.nl that my browser isn’t recent enough, and I should update…

I can’t upgrade as I am already on the latest version of Safari.

I’ve tried switching the User Agent under the Develop chapter in Safari’s menu bar, but whatever I try, when I restart Safari, it automatically defaults back to a custom User Agent string that reads :

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible- MSIE 6.0- Windows NT 5.1- SV1- .NET CLR 1.1.4322

What can I do ? this is getting on my nerves…

Answer :

the solution is rather straight forward : delete all plist-files associated with Safari manually

here’s how to do so :

– in the Finder, in the upper menu bar go to “Go”

– then “Go to folder…”

– in the popup window type “~/library/preferences”

(that’s how you get into the hidden Library-folder)

– then drag these files to the Desktop (you might not have all of them on you Mac) :

com.apple.Safari.plist

com.apple.Safari.plist.ByIRcYZ

com.apple.Safari.plist.lockfile

com.apple.Safari.plist.RRS.plist

com.apple.Safari.plist.RSS.plist.lockfile

– then restart Safari and check if everything works as you would like it to

– if so, drag those .plist-files you just moved to the Desktop to the Trash

…that’s it

FYI : theoretically you could also have replaced the custom User Agent string by the proper one for Safari 6 :

Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5355d Safari/8536.25

…too bad that your Safari will probably not be able to save that though, so you’ll still have to follow the directions outlined above…

more User Agent strings can be found here :

http://www.useragentstring.com/_uas_Safari_version_.php