A Bcc (blind carbon copy) is a copy of an email message sent to a recipient whose email address does not appear in the message.
This is in contrast to To and Cc recipients, whose addresses do appear in the respective header lines. Every recipient of the message can see all the To and Cc recipients, but does not know about Bcc recipients.
Also Known As: Blind carbon copy
When you write an email, you write it to someone (or, of course, to someone special).
Yet the To: field is not the only place to put an addressee. Two more fields accept recipients. They are called Cc: and Bcc:, and you probably have already seen them — the former at least — in your email program. Let's find out what Cc: and Bcc: are for.
Cc: — Carbon Copy
"Cc" is short for "carbon copy". Those naming and designing this email feature probably had the real world counterpart to email in mind: letters. Carbon copy paper made it possible to send the same letter to two (or even more if you hit the keys really hard) different people without the onerous task of having to write or type it twice.
The analogy works well. An email is sent to the person in the To: field, of course.
A verbatim copy of the message is also sent to all the addresses listed in the Cc: field, though. Yes, there can be more than one email address in this field, and they all get a copy. To enter more than one address in the Cc: field, separate them with commas.
The Shortcomings of Cc:
When you send a message to more than one address using the Cc: field, both the original recipient and all the recipients of the carbon copies see the To: and Cc: fields including all the addresses in them.
This means that every recipient gets to know the email addresses of all the persons that received your message. This is usually not desirable. Nobody likes their email address exposed to the public.
Full Cc: fields also don't look all that good. They can become quite long and grow big on the screen. Lots of email addresses will overshadow little message text.
Bcc: — Blind Carbon Copy
The long version of "Bcc" is "blind carbon copy". If this gives you the image of an empty sheet of paper — a carbon copy without text —, that's not quite what email's Bcc: is up to.
The Bcc: field helps you deal with the problems created by Cc:. As it is the case with Cc:, a copy of the message goes to every single email address appearing in the Bcc: field.
The difference is that neither the Bcc: field itself nor the email addresses in it appear in any of the copies (and not in the message sent to the person in the To: field either).
The only recipient address that will be visible to all recipients is the one in the To: field. So, to keep maximum anonymity you can put your own address in the To: field and use Bcc: exclusively to address your message.
Bcc: lets you send a newsletter, too, or send a message to "undisclosed recipients".
Cc: and Bcc: Netiquette
Bcc: is a nice and powerful tool. But you still should limit its use to cases when it is clear that the message was sent to multiple recipients whose addresses are protected using Bcc:. You could mention the other recipients at the end of the email by name, but not by email address, for example.
In any case, Bcc: not a spying device. How would you feel when a message addressed to you might also have reached a number of other people, but you did not know who?
USE BCC PLEASE
Would you write your friends' phone numbers on the walls of public places? I didn't think so. Then why would you share their private E-mail addresses with a group of strangers when you know that many of whom will CARELESSLY forward the same addresses to even more strangers? DON'T DO IT! Instead, use your E-mail program'S BCC feature.
Place YOUR OWN email address in the TO: field. Keep your recipients' addresses in the BCC field.
* Using BCC protects your recipients' private email addresses from being spread to strangers (from being released into the public domain.)
* Using BCC helps prevent SPAM.
* When using BCC, messages are easier on your readers because the messages contain less text to sift through. The cleaner the message, the easier it is to read.
* Because the messages contain less text, they're smaller and require less bandwidth. They will download faster.
* Using BCC shows your consideration of others by not publishing hundreds of your contacts to strangers (and potentially, SPAMMERS or maybe even stalkers.)
* In most email clients, the BCC field is very apparent and obvious. While in a new message in AOL's web mail, click BCC. In Gmail and Yahoo Mail!, click add BCC. In Hotmail, click Show Cc & Bcc.
* In Outlook and Outlook express, it's not so obvious but turning it on is a one-time event.
* To activate the BCC field in Outlook Express, create a new message and choose View, All Headers.
* To activate the BCC field in MS-Outlook, create a new message and choose View, BCC.
* Lotus Notes - the BCC field is right there. Nothing to "turn on", no hoops to jump through, just use it!