By J. D. BIERSDORFER NOV. 25, 2016
Q. I have been getting spam invitations to my iOS calendar recently. They come from Chinese accounts and their subjects are for super-discounted Ray-Bans and the like. Is there any solution to this?
A. Many iCloud users have recently reported an influx of spam in the form of iOS calendar events and iCloud Photo Sharing invitations. While the delivery mechanism is different, the calendar and photo-sharing invitations traffic in the same old suspect offers for cheap goods as the junk mail and text messages that came before. Unlike those older forms of spam, which can be filtered, blocked or deleted, invitation spam usually offers Accept, Decline (or Maybe) as your options — all of which notify the spammer that your account is live and ready for more unsolicited offers.
While an Ignore button is currently not available so you can quietly bury these unwanted invitations, dedicated users have come up with least two workarounds for the calendar garbage. (For the junk photo-sharing offers, turning off the iCloud Photo Sharing feature in your iOS Photos & Camera or iCloud settings seems to be the only avoidance option at the moment.)
To ditch calendar spam you have already received, open the Calendar app, tap the Calendars button at the bottom of the screen and then tap the Edit button. On the next screen, select the Add Calendars option and give the new calendar a name like Spam, Junk or something therapeutically snarky. Tap the Done button at the top of the screen a few times until you arrive back on the Calendar screen.
Select the spam invitation and move it to the new calendar you just made, and then repeat the steps for all the unwanted invitations. When you are done, tap the Calendars button at the bottom of the screen. Tap the lowercase “i” icon next to the spam calendar, and on the next screen, swipe down and tap Delete Calendar to flush the added spam without responding to it.
To make the spam invitations go to your iCloud mail — where they can be filtered or deleted more easily — instead of going right to your calendar, log onto your iCloud account on the web. Open the Calendar app, click the gear-shaped Settings icon in the lower-left corner and choose Preferences. In the Preferences box, click the Advanced tab, and under Invitations, click the button to have all calendar invitations go to your email account instead of your calendar. Click the Save button before you leave the screen.
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