iPhone Calendar Spam
One of the simplest and most common forms of spam is the so-called calendar spam, which exploits your iPhone Calendar app and uses it to show different kinds of dubious notifications on your display. The way this type of spam works is an event gets automatically created in your Calendar without your permission and once the date of the event arrives a notification pops-up.
In many cases, the notification would ask you to click on a link or to confirm something. It is crucial to remember to not interact with such pop-up notifications if they aren’t related to events that you have added yourself. If you think that the pop-up is a form of Calendar spam, do not interact with its contents in any way if possible and simply dismiss it. There are all sorts of things that could go wrong if you tap on the notification’s confirmation button depending on the source of the spam. In some of the worst-case scenarios, you might even get redirected to sham (phishing) sites that try to trick you into providing sensitive data about yourself or to pages that spread malware infections such as Spyware and Trojans. This is especially likely if you have been targeted by a Calendar spam virus.
iPhone Calendar Virus
The most common way you could get spam in your iPhone Calendar is if the spammer that is trying to target you has knowledge of the email to which you have connected the Calendar app. This gives the spammers all they need in order to flood your Calendar with spam notifications. This is made possible because your Calendar app is synced with your email account by default and each time you receive an invitation type of email letter it gets automatically added as an event to the Calendar. This means that everyone who knows the email you’ve connected to the Calendar can spam you with fake events but it also means that it is actually rather easy to stop this type of spam (and we will tell you how you can do it).
All that being said, knowledge of your email might not be the only way to shower your Calendar with spam. There is also the possibility of having some kind of a Calendar spam virus in your iPhone, in which case you’d need to check your device for malware and remove anything that might be potentially hazardous. It is highly important that you remove the Calendar spam virus if there is one in your device because if it is allowed to stay there for long periods of time it might cause various system issues.
How to remove virus from iPhone Calendar?
This is the first thing you should try if you are getting targeted by this kind of spam.
- Log in yo your account at iCloud.com and tap on Calendar.
- Tap on the Settings icon (a gear icon) located in the lower-left corner of the screen.
- Now, select Preferences and then Advanced.
- Change the Invitations setting from In-app notifications to Email to and provide your current email.
- Lastly, click on Save to confirm the change.
Note that after you do that, you will no longer get any events automatically added to your Calendar. Instead, they’d go to the email you have provided. This also applies to the spam you’ve been getting – it would too go to your email, but at least you won’t be getting the spam notifications on your screen.
The next part of this post will tell you how to check your iPhone for an actual Calendar spam virus and how to deal with such a virus if it gets detected.
Remove iPhone Calendar Virus
First you need to close all pop-ups that are currently open.
- If the pop-up has a checkbox named “Don’t show more alerts from this webpage” click on the checkbox before closing the Ad.
- If a Block Alerts button happens to appear after you shut down a pop-up on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch tab that button to stop receiving alerts from the same page.
In case that a pop-up fails to close after performing the above operations:
- On your Mac you should make your Safari browser close forcibly by pressing Command-Option-Esc. Select Safari from the list of Apps and force close it. After you force close it you need to restart Safari, but please hold the shift button while it starts. This will prevent any pesky Ads from opening automatically.
- On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you can do the same by pressing the home button twice in a quick succession. You’ll then see a preview of all apps that have been recently used. Swipe left to find Safari and then swipe up on the app’s preview to close it forcibly In order to prevent Safari from opening unwanted windows on startup go to Settings->Safari and Clear History, as well as Website Data. This will also clear your browser history and cookies so keep that in mind and export them if you want to keep them.
Choose Preferences from the Safari menu. Then do the following:
- Select the Security icon and then click on “Block pop-up windows“. This should stop many types of pop-ups from appearing.
- Next check on your homepage and the settings for the search engines. Adware likes messing with those. We can not provide more specific instructions for this, as you may be using many different browsers.
- Select the General icon and look at the Homepage field. It should either be empty or filled with the address of the Homepage you want.
- Follow up on the Search icon. Again it should be either the default search engine or any that you have set for yourself. Note that in some versions of Safari these settings are found in the General panel/
Open Safari and click on the Extensions button. Note that Adware use extensions almost exclusively to inject the pop-up Ads into your browser. Any extension on this list that you do not remember installing yourself is likely planted there by the Adware. Remove ALL extensions you are unfamiliar with.
|Name||iPhone Calendar Spam/Virus|
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||A Browser hijacker would make browser changes that would allow it to spam your screen with ads.|
|Distribution Method||Methods such as spam message distribution and file-bundles are oftentimes used to spread hijacker apps.|