Monday, 24 June 2013

Stop spam event invites displaying in Google Calendar

Have you had events appear in your Google Calendar from people that you don't know? Anything from fraudulent requests for money to other stuff like pron. They appear without your accepting the invite, taking up space in your calendar, and you can't delete them without hitting "Decline". A real annoyance.

I recently helped a friend troubleshoot to prevent such spam event invitations showing up in her Google Calendar.

Others have already produced howtos, so I'm posting links to some pages providing the solution to stopping spam invites from appearing in your Google Calendar - the main fix being to set "Automatically add invitations to my calendar" to "No":

  • with screenshot - the best one, as it has a screenshot that also mentions disabling "Show events you have declined" (ie set that to "No"), which may help
  • similar advice

This way you'll still get emails of invitations, which you can choose to accept or decline (or 'maybe'), but the events won't automatically get added to your diary even before you'd chosen to take any of those actions.

But I'd add one more comment. Some people have suggested hitting "Decline" on the invites in question, to stop them from displaying in your Google Calendar, ie get rid of the spam events completely from your calendar.

My reservation about that is that it may send an email back to the spammer, so that they know that your Gmail address is active, and can keep on sending you spam calendar invitations or spam email!

When I set "Automatically add invitations…" to "No" for my friend, doing that immediately stopped the spam event from showing in her Google Calendar. And it didn't send the spammer anything to prompt them to keep pushing spam calendar invites to her!

So I'd recommend trying to disable "Automatically add.." first, before you start hitting "Decline" or "Reject" or the like on the spam event. And only if it doesn't work, consider doing that.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Stop Word from reducing all windows!

Too many times, when I want to close the current window in Word, I accidentally hit Alt-F5 (instead of Alt-F4) which means it then 'restores', ie reduces the size of all my open Word documents. Every single one of them. I then have to maximise them one by one, individually going to each window first. This is a big annoyance as there is no single command to 'Maximize all windows' in Word, as far as I can find. What a pain.

My solution or workaround, short of finding a way to maximise all Word document windows together at once in one go, is this fix: simply disable the Alt F5 hotkey! Then it does nothing if you hit that combo inadvertently, instead of reducing all your Word windows to tiny unusable ones.

Here's how to disable that hotkey.

  1. In Word, rightclick an empty spot in the toolbar and choose "Customize the Ribbon".
  2. Towards the bottom against "Keyboard shortcuts", click the "Customize" button (outlined in red below):image
  3. Now on the left under Categories, scroll down to highlight "All commands":image
  4. Then click in "Commands" at the top right, and scroll down to find and highlight "App Restore".
  5. Under "Current keys" (outlined in red above) it should now show "Alt+F5".
  6. Click on the line that says "Alt+F5", then click the button (also outlined in red, above) saying "Remove".
  7. Then click the "Close" button.
  8. Then "OK".
  9. That should be it, you should be rid of this nuisance!