GEEK SQUEAK: Why You Should Use Bcc In Your Email

Bcc = Blind Carbon Copy

Did you know that if you use the Bcc field in your email client to address and send an email to multiple users, the recipients will not see whom you sent the email to?

Many know this trick; however, I still find that many do not. When using the Bccfield to send your emails, the people receiving the email will not know who the other recipients are. It is not a trick of hidden magic. It is that the addresses of the other recipients are simply not shared.

I often receive forwarded chain emails; usually consisting of jokes, humorous movies, prayer requests, etc… Occasionally I will find one of these emails humorous or important enough that I will pass it on; HOWEVER, prior to doing this I perform some housecleaning steps.

I will remove any “FWD” text (usually in the subject line) and will remove any email addresses I find in the body of the email that reflects the email addresses of recipients who have already received the email. After performing these housecleaning steps, I will enter into the the Bcc field, in my email client, the recipient’s email addresses, from my address book, to send (or forward) the email. If the email client requires at least one entry in the “To” field, I simply enter my own email address.

The benefits of using the Bcc field is simply this. You are protecting the privacy of other people. Currently I have approximately (5)-five email accounts that I use for specific purposes, from a variety of email services, with one of those accounts being my primary email account. I am very protective of that primary email account address and do not want it thrown about for the spammers to get hold of or for strangers to see. For example, I have found people’s email addresses in forwarded emails that I know and have not seen for years. They are very surprised when I contact them; and, will often ask, “How did you get my email?”. I explain that I simply pulled it from a forwarded email.

Be courteous to others and learn to use the Bcc field in your email; AND, when possible avoid chain emails all together.

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19 thoughts on “GEEK SQUEAK: Why You Should Use Bcc In Your Email

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  1. At my college, they usually send email to students who are failing classes to let them know that they’re failing. One time they forgot to bcc. It was QUITE embarrassing for all involved.

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  2. Yea this is one email etiquette that everyone should be practicing. You just don’t want people handing your email address to any Tom, Dick and Harry on the Internet.

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  3. i have been doing this exactly as you say for many years. you try to tell others to do it this way but they all just ignore you. but a well-written explanation and hopefully there is one person out there that will “get it”… thanks again

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    1. Cheong,

      You are absolutely correct in saying this should be “common courtesy”. What I find is that they everyday computer user is unaware of this feature or simply do not know how to use it.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Rick

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  4. I agree and have been doing this for years, but someone pointed out to me that some spam filters will block emails with addresses in the bcc field.

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    1. Dwain,

      Thanks for sharing that tip on the spam filters… I currently use online web mail services such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail. I haven’t experienced that problem there; however, the software versions that are installed on a PC may be more aggressive in that area. Again, glad you brought this up…

      Rick

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  5. Whilst I generally agree, also be aware that Bcc has the potential to create trouble when it’s used for the wrong reasons. For example when a group email is sent out to the parties working on a project regarding an issue and someone, not directly involved but with an interest (maybe a CEO of a supplier), is Bcc’d in. None of the other people will know that person has received that email and there-in lies the potential for trouble – as happened on a project I was working on, so I know all too well how the direction of a well managed project can suddenly take a turn for the worse. Take care folks!

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    1. Drizzle,

      Excellent point… Also, points out that we should only use email for general conversation and if material is sensitive in nature that material (or attachments) should be encrypted and password protected. What you pointed out, in most companies today, would be grounds for dismissal, lawsuit, etc… Again, excellent scenario of BCC going bad!

      Rick

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  6. I didn’t know what bcc meant or its use. Anyway, i don’t always forward mail or send to multiple people.
    Thanks for enlightening me, when i’ll need to use it, i will without hesitation, for privacy’s sake 🙂

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