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Why use Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) in emails?

BCC, stands for blind carbon copy. It allows you to hide recipients in email messages.

Here at Web South (and privately) we get messages like this: (list changed to stop real ones showing and email spammers getting nowhere with the list)

From: Big Banner business []
Sent: Thursday, 7 January 2016 11:40 AM
To: judy; craig @ email . comronn @ email . com; max;  craig @ email . comronn @ email . comfred @ email . comnat @ email . competer @ email . comcoral @ email . comdarryl @ email . comrobert @ email . comjen @ email . comjock @ email . comtim @ email . comronnie @ email . comderek @ email . comrosie @ email . comlouise @ email . comamelia @ email . com;
Subject: BIG DAY OUT!

We consider this is ‘BAD’ as it has several problems.

It exposes your yourself, your business and your clients, customers or friends to risks that need not be with a little bit of extra effort.

Here are a few ways this happens:


This is especially important for businesses and organisations. To send out a list of all your mailing list to every single person exposes every one of them to the list. This is a big privacy issue to be avoided at all costs. Making this mistake can cost business (customer abandons you) or on some occasions can expose secrets or things you didn’t want pople to know (such as only having a small customer base – when you are trying to project bigger things). It could expose a member on the list to be harrassed or scammed. It could expose your business to a competitor who could market to your list.

Maybe Not  (Sometimes) – There are times when in a small group – perhaps a committee where everyone is working together can sometimes benefit with all the emails exposed – it can for instance mean each recipient is able to keep up with the  latest email address of each one and if needed click on and email an invividual.
The essential thing is that this should be a concential list and recipients should be aware to remove the email list before forwarding it on anywhere else.


One of the main issues is of security. Exposing your email list has the potential to land all the emails in the hands of SPAMMERS and SCAMMERS. You may not do this directly.

One of the ways this often happens is when a recipent is infected with viruses/trojans etc which allow the harvesting of emails – and your list gets picked up on that list. Every member on the list is then exposed to multiple problems.

This could be from a direct recipient or if one of the recipients forwards on to one or more addresses the list could end up on SPAM lists which can be sold far and wide.

Hackers love them as they can harvest the addresses and ‘sell them’ to marketers (both shady and bad – good marketers would not buy a list like this).


By using BCC you are respecting peoples privacy and safety. You really do want to keep people happy.

How do you BCC an email message?

Most email clients have the option to BCC listed a few lines below the To: field.
Sometimes it may not listed by default. If it is not shown, check the help menu or the the program’s documentation.


When BCC’ing recipients you should have something in the To: field,
This may be your own email address or one especially set up for the purpose.
This method not only hides the identity of the recipients, but enables you to confirm that the message was sent successfully.

Don’t forget to put a descriptive ‘Subject’ in the subject line – so the email is less likely to end up in SPAM filters and more likely to be read by the recipient.