A new scam targeting people who use Google Calendar makes them vulnerable to phishing attacks.
Criminals have figured out a way to access your Google Calendar and put phishing links in event invites, according to Kaspersky Labs, an intelligence firm that specializes in internet security.
Google Calendar phishing scam: ‘Scammers making appointments en masse’
“Spammers have recently taken to making appointments en masse,” Kaspersky researchers said in a blog post.
Here’s how the scam works: Users will see details about a fake event in the topic and location fields of Google Calendar. The scammers sometimes use the lure of money to get you to click on the links.
“Usually, their spam details consist of a short bit of text stating that you are entitled to a cash payment for some reason, and a link that supposedly lets you receive it,” the security firm says.
Because Google Calendar is installed on so many devices, this vulnerability is pretty widespread — but you don’t have to be a victim.
The #1 to not get scammed by phishing attacks and protect yourself?
Never click on suspicious links sent to you via email or your calendar.
Google Calendar phishing scam: 4 steps you must take to protect yourself
To fully protect yourself against this phishing scam, you must change your settings so invites from random users won’t show up. Once you follow these four steps, you should only see Google Calendar invites from people in your contact list:
1. From your device, open your Google Calendar and go to Settings. To find it, click on the gear icon in the top right of the page then click Settings.
2. Scroll down to “Event Settings,” where you’ll see “Automatically add invitations.”
3. Click on “Automatically add invitations” and it will open a collapsible menu. Click “No, only show invitations to which I have responded.” It will automatically save your preference.
4. Finally, you’ll want to clear out all those invitations that might be bogus on your Google Calendar.
To do that, go to the vertical menu on the right side of the page and click “View options.” Make sure you uncheck “Show declined events.”
Just like that, you’re protected from the Google Calendar phishing scam.
After making these changes, you will still be able to receive emails with Google Calendar invites, but it will be up to you whether to accept them.