Google Gmail and Calendar Hack: Know how to stay safe

1.5 Billion users of Google’s Gmail and Calendar services are at risk of being hacked or falling victim of a new scam. This is reported by a security researcher, Kaspersky.

Google offers nifty services due to the interconnection in its system, and this makes it easy for hackers to exploit the convenience this service offers to its users.

How the scam works:

  • Users will┬áreceive unsolicited email notifications that include a link to a phishing URL.
  • Those who click the link are taken to a malicious site and are asked to enter their credit card credentials which could be stolen off the website if inputted. In some cases, users are told they will win prizes only after they have inputted their credit card credentials into the site.

According to Kaspersky, the problem centers on a feature in Google Calendar and Gmail that allows malicious hackers to create a calendar event and then have users automatically receive a notification about it.

How to stay safe:

Here are 3 simple steps to take to ensure you stay safe of this scam.

  • Don’t click on links sent to you via email from unknown or untrusted sources or from anyone that creates an invite in your calendar without your knowledge.
  • Avoid sharing your personal information in a site you’re unsure of its authenticity. Unless you know what the site is and offers, be sure to verify its authenticity.
    The best way is to avoid sharing your personal details into seemingly malicious websites as you can’t be too sure of its authenticity.
  • Most importantly, you should turn off the feature that automatically adds calendar invitations to your Google Calendar.
    Here is how to turn it off:

Go to your Google Calendar and click on the gear icon at the top left, then select ‘Settings’.

Your Google Calendar

Select ‘Event Settings’ and then on the drop down that says “Automatically add invitations”, change your option from “Yes” to “No, only show invitations to which I’ve responded”.

Google Gmail
Your Google Calendar

Read more about how spammers use Google’s services here.

Also: Where to enjoy Google’s free WiFi services

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