July 16, 2007

With BCC (blind carbon copy) you can hide recipients in  email  messages.  Unlike  addresses  in  the  To: or  CC: (carbon  copy)  fields,  addresses  in the BCC: field cannot be seen by other recipients.

The most obvious reason for using BCC is to make someone, such as a supervisor or team member, aware of the email without actually involving them in the exchange. This way, you’re not advertising you are doing it and if anyone “Replies to all,” they will not be included.

Here are a couple more ways to use BCC:

Tracking –  You can use BCC to send a copy of the message to yourself without confusing your recipients. For example, you may want to archive the email you are sending in another email account for reference or so you can read it at home.

Respect  for your recipients – Forwarded email messages often contain long lists of email addresses that were CC’d by previous senders. Many email-borne  viruses and spammers harvest these addresses to add to their junk lists. If you or any of those recipients get infected, those long lists in forwarded messages pose a risk to all the accounts they point to.

So when you send an email to multiple people, consider putting their addresses in the BCC: field instead of the To: field. If your email client requires an address in the To: field, use your own.

Likewise, encourage people who forward messages to you to use BCC so your email address is less likely to appear in other people’s inboxes.