A new feature has been added to iCloud Calendar to address its sudden onslaught of spam. Although some users were hoping for a solution that would eliminate the spam issue altogether, the very nature of how spammers propagate their links prevents that from happening. Instead, Apple needs your help in reporting and removing these unwanted calendar items to put the problem to rest once and for all. Read on for a full rundown of where this problem came from and what Apple is doing to fix it.
The problem started in late October, and it continues today. iCloud devices continue to receive numerous calendar invites from unsolicited people. These invites typically advertise “junk” products in an attempt to exploit the increase in shopping associated with the holidays. Users who actually do click the links find themselves redirected to sites that have zero connection to what they thought they would find. But worse yet, everyone, regardless of their interest, is being completely inundated by unwanted notifications.
Denying calendar invitations alerts spammers that the email address the rejection came from is still active. This just results in more and more spam in the future. Apple apologized to customers affected by the oversight, but until now users have had no efficient way of deleting the spam from their calendar.
A “Report Junk” button has been added as Apple’s best shot at a long-awaited solution to the calendar spam problem. This reporting mechanism can be found on any calendar invitation sent by someone not listed in your contacts.
Unfortunately, it requires opening each item and selecting “Report Junk” through iCloud.com (the feature has not yet been released for iOS or macOS). However, once you have deleted an event from your calendar, the information will be deleted from all synced calendars, even those that are shown in the iOS apps.
Spam is one of the worst externalities that comes with increased connectivity. Although we’re still waiting for a more thorough solution to this problem, you can rest assured that in the meantime we’re working hard to come up with one of our own. For all the insider tips and tricks on Apple devices, contact us today.