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 : block sender in Gmail

Question :

I would like to never receive another eMail again from some people that keep sending me spam-eMail. How can I block the senders in my Gmail ?

Answer :

In Gmail, you can’t block a sender.

However : using a filtering action and ordering filtered eMails to be trashed will have about the same effect as blocking the sender.

Here’s how to do that :

– in your webbrowser (Safari), go to www.gmail.com

– login using your Gmail-address and your Gmail-password

– when your online Gmail eMail-client opens, go to the list on the left and select the mailbox where the eMail who’s sender you want to block is located ; this can be your “Inbox”, but it can also be listed under “More…” and then inside your “Spam” or “Trash” mailbox ; if you can’t find the eMail you’re looking for, try “All Mail”

– select the eMail message itself from the list in the middle of the screen

– when the eMail message opens, click on the ‘downward facing triangle’-button (the one that’s next to the date, there star and the reply-arrow), and select “Filter messages like this”

– in the window that opens, the sender you want to block will already be pre-filled in the “From”-field and all other fields will be empty ; leave everything as-is, just click on “Create filter with this search” (in blue, bottom-left)

– in the next window, put a check-mark at “Delete it”, and click on the blue “Create filter”-button

…that’s it !

TIP 1 : If you have any other senders you would like to block, just repeat the above steps for each sender.

TIP 2 : if you want to block multiple senders using just one filter, put all eMail addresses in the “From”-field and separate them by a SPACE, a |-sign (vertical separator) and another SPACE

TIP 3 : in the event that you change your mind and want to un-block a sender you’ve previously blocked, just login to your online Gmail account again and click on the sprocket (a.k.a. ‘gear’) icon ; in the pop-up menu that appears, select “Settings”, then the “Filters”-tab and click “Edit” to adjust the filter or “Delete” to completely get rid off the filter

Note : any new filter will only be filtering new eMails, not the eMails that have already entered your mailboxes, so all existing mails by the blocked sender have to be manually deleted also.

Any new eMail by these senders will now be deleted when it arrives, so you won’t see it in your online Gmail mailboxes, nor in Apple Mail.app on your Mac, any longer.

Enjoy !

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fixed : block senders of incoming spam eMails

Question :

I keep getting a lot of spam-eMail lately, most of the time from the same eMail-address.

Is there anything I can do to stop this ?

 

Answer :

The extend to which you can fix this, depends on the options given by your eMail-host, but bottom line it all comes down to configuring a filter.

– open Safari (or any other browser of your choice)

– go to your eMail-host’s internet page and login using your name/eMail and password

– go to the Preferences-menu and configure a filter there that checks all incoming eMails on the criteria you configure (e.g. the sender’s eMail-address) and sends all filtered-out eMails to the trash straight away (there might be a “block sender” option, but that’s not always the case)

If you manage to set a filter as outlined above, you will not get those annoying eMails on your Mac, nor on your iPad, neither on your iPhone.

Just make sure your filter doesn’t filter too broadly, as that would even ‘desired’ eMails will get placed in the trash without ever getting into your mailbox…

If it’s not possible to set the filter in your eMail-host’s server, you will have to set a filter on any eMail-app you use on every device (so on your Mac, your iPad, your iPhone, etc.).

Setting an eMail-filter on your Mac should be done like this :

– open Apple Mail.app and select the spam eMail in your inbox

– open Mail Preferences, click on the tab “Rules”, and click “New Rule”

– that will set a new filtering-rule, which has the spammer’s eMail address already in it

– additionally configure the action that all eMail of that sender should go straight to the trash [you can include multiple spammers or senders directly or at a later time, and sometimes it is even more effective to filter based on a specific (partial) sentence from the ‘Subject Line’ or ‘Body Text’]

If you think configuring filters is too complicated, you can also decide to keep on tagging unwanted (spam) eMails as ‘Junk’. Since the Junk-mailfilter teaches itself progressively, in due time all similar eMails will be automatically filtered out and placed in the ‘Junk’-mailbox.

Good Luck !

Enjoy !

😉

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