Using the Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy) Feature in Outlook

By | 28th April 2015

Using-BCCmedWhat does Bcc stand for?

The term Bcc stands for “blind carbon copy” which is a way of including someone in an email message without disclosing their identity. This can be useful in several situations where you don’t want the message recipient to know that someone else has been copied in to the email, or in situations where the identity of the person being “blind copied” must remain confidential.
By adding a recipient’s name to the Bcc box in an e-mail you will ensure that a copy of the message will be sent to them. Their name, however, will not be visible to any other recipients of the message.

Making the Bcc Box Visible in Outlook

When you create a new email, the Bcc box is not always visible. If this is the case you can add it by choosing the Fields group on the Message Options tab and clicking Show Bcc.

Adding the Blind Copy box

The Bcc box added

Hidden Dangers in using Bcc

• You should check that the intended recipient is expecting your message before adding them to the Bcc box as they may want to add your email address to their “safe-senders” list

BCC

• This is because some junk e-mail filters flag messages that use the Bcc box as junk due to the number of unscrupulous spam messages sent this way
• Don’t use a Distribution list or Group name in the Bcc box. Everyone in the list or group will get a copy and if they have rules set up your message may be sorted according to them
• People receiving the email via Bcc may choose to “Reply to All” meaning that everyone in the original list will be sent the reply – a ready-made email list with potential risks of spamming or spreading malicious code e.g. a virus or Trojan
• For safety, turn off this feature when using Bcc. For instructions on how to do this see Removing the Reply to All function in Outlook
• A lot of ISPs and e-mail service providers set limits for the number of names that can be included in the To, Cc, and Bcc boxes in a single email so this is another safeguard against misuse.

Using Blind Copy for sending one email to several people

• If you ever need to send an email simultaneously to several people but don’t want them to see who else has had the message, using Bcc can help prevent you from disclosing their identities
• You can send the email to yourself as the main recipient and include everyone else in the Bcc box. That way, they will only see their own name and the rest of the recipients will be hidden

Blind copy box with recipient's names added
• Your To box will have a recipient’s name – yours – so it should avoid being identified as spam and confined to the Junk Mail folder
• You should consider using mail merge in Microsoft Office Word instead

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