Hiding Email Addresses With the BCC

I receive email all of the time with lists of email addresses and quite frankly it really bothers me. It is not proper email etiquette to broadcast other people’s email addresses, especially since people tend to guard their email addresses more than their telephone number.

First let’s understand some of the fields found in most email programs. The programs contain Cc fields and Bcc fields. The Cc field or “carbon copy” allows you to send the email to many recipients with the addresses visible. This is good when you want everyone on your list to know that certain other people have received this email, such as for a committee meeting. But when you don’t want everyone to see who has received this email then you should use the Bcc field, or “blind carbon copy”.

The words carbon copy, don’t necessarily make sense these days when it comes to computers. Carbon copies used to be made when typing on typewriters and using carbon paper to make the copies.

These words are a blast from the past but still effective. So you get the idea, a blind carbon copy, hides the email addresses from the various recipients.

The best way to send email with blind addresses is to use the Bcc field or the “blind carbon copy” field. Enter each address into the Bcc field, separated with a comma. You may type the addresses in or click in the Bcc field, access your address book and click on the recipient’s addresses.

Keep in mind that you can type an email address in the To: and/or Cc: fields at the same time you are using the Bcc: field. The addresses in the To: and Cc: field will be visible to all recipients of the email but the Bcc: addresses won’t be visible. This can be useful in a situation such as sending out a business letter and including your boss in a Bcc: so he/she knows that the letter was sent out.

Also be aware that the Bcc field may not be available in your email program unless you select it as an option or turn it on.