Google Calendar has come to play an important role in managing everyday schedules. Whether it is scheduling a meeting or remembering an important event, calendars have steadily gained popularity. In fact, calendars have become the go-to tool when it comes to scheduling meetings and other important events. This is especially true for on-the-go executives that have come to rely heavily on Google Calendar to keep track of their multiple meetings.
Another avenue for attacks
Cyber criminals have realized that calendars are attractive for phishing scams and can be used to easily sneak into people’s systems in order to steal personal details. This is because, by default, once a meeting invite is received, it is automatically added to the calendars of the invitee. While it does save the hassle of making manual entries into the Google Calendar, it has also opened up an additional avenue for cyber attacks.
Phishing out personal details
Cyber criminals are exploiting the automatic addition feature in Google Calendar by sending unsolicited calendar invites that include a phishing link. As soon as a user clicks the link, (s)he is redirected to a website promising lucrative offers. The user is enticed to share personal details including name, address, phone number, email address, credit card details, and so forth in a questionnaire in order to qualify for the offer. These details are then stolen by cyber criminals and used for various crimes.
Fortunately, it is easy to prevent being scammed in such a manner. All that a user is required to do is to turn off the automatic addition of invites to their Google Calendar and tweak the settings to allow adding only those events to which the user has responded. Additionally, users must ensure that they leave the ‘show declined events’ checkbox unchecked.
A little precaution such as tweaking the settings does not take much time, but can go a long way in shutting the door at cyber criminals and protecting personal data from being stolen.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.