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A Friendly Reminder: Blind Carbon Copy

BCC: Blind to You, But not to Me

Have you ever wondered what the ‘Bcc’ box in your email means? It works the same way as Cc but with a cloak-and-dagger twist. Bcc sends your email to everyone in the Bcc field but discloses no one’s.

Here are at least three reasons to use Bcc. Keep Recipients Confidential Say you have a difficult employee, Mary. When you Bcc your boss or HR about her, which creates a paper trail, Mary won’t know who else sees that email. Caution is required here: You should probably avoid doing this unless you have been specifically told to. Remember, email is retrievable even if you have deleted it! Reduce Lengthy Email Threads You’re having a Hawaiian luau! So you send the invitation and put everyone’s address in the To line. Uh oh. That means when people RSVP, everyone sees all the responses and replies (“Sorry, my grass skirt is at the cleaners.” Or “Super! I bring the pupu platter.”) in the long email chain. That onslaught of replies makes for an annoyingly messy inbox. So, put everyone’s address in the Bcc line and yours in the To box. Important: Doing so also removes the ‘Reply all’ option, so there is no chance of anyone’s inbox overflowing. Guard Privacy This feature also protects the privacy of all recipients. For instance, if you want to send a newsletter to your subscribers, send the email to yourself and put theirs in the Bcc slot to hide their addresses. It’s nobody’s beeswax who else is on the list. Plus, using Bcc protects all recipients against spambots and viruses from hoovering them up for their nefarious purposes. In sum, Bcc is handy for confidentiality, inbox courtesy, and protecting addresses from misuse. Just don’t abuse it. We at Business Writing That Counts! would never let others know your address. So please email or call 425.485.3221 with questions and comments.


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