The Power of BCC : Why You Should Start Using It

I hate spam. Actually, I don’t know anyone who enjoys receiving spam. And I know a couple of people who actually fell for those spam messages, thinking they came from someone legit. Or maybe because they were sent through an email address they’re familiar with. Probably because the owner of that email address didn’t know about the power of BCC or someone in their network was guilty.

BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. If you’re using email to communicate with anyone, may it be at work or leisure, you must have seen this already. But, I know there are still a lot of people who have no idea what it’s for.

First, an introduction:

To, CC and BCC

When sending emails to people, you are given these 3 fields: To, CC and BCC. Here’s a brief explanation of what each does:

  • “To:” field:  This is where you put in the email of the person you’re directly addressing. Usually, this field is meant for one person only.
  • “CC:” field: This is mostly used at work when you need to “copy” your boss or someone from your team when you send an email. Just like what the abbreviation means, it’s like giving them a carbon copy of a letter you’re addressing to someone else.
  • “BCC:” field: This should be used when sending mass emails to multiple people. It’s called “blind carbon copy” because everyone else won’t see anyone else’s email addresses that were included or entered in the BCC field. You can actually enter all email addresses here and nothing on CC and To fields. Your email will still go through.

For web-based email users, the BCC field is not readily available. You have to click on a link first to reveal the BCC field. Here are examples with screenshots from Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail:

BCC on Yahoo Mail

BCC on Gmail

BCC on Hotmail


When and Why Should You Use BCC?

In case you still don’t know when and why you should use BCC when sending emails, here are a few things you should note:

  • To prevent the spread of any email-related viruses, use BCC. You’re not only saving yourself from those annoying viruses, but it also shows you care about those who you’re emailing.
  • When you use BCC, you’re also protecting all your contacts’ privacy. I know a lot of people who don’t want their email addresses given out without their permission, especially when it’s their personal email address. This is another way to prevent spam from spreading. And I didn’t mean spam sent by bots, but those that were sent by human beings that were paid to spam people.
  • Not everyone appreciates it when someone replies to all, especially when it’s not necessary.
  • If you’re sending an email to multiple email addresses, more often than not, you should put their email addresses in the BCC field. Keep that in mind next time you’re sending an email.

I use BCC whenever I send invites to fellow bloggers for an event I’m handling or when a PR asks for help. So, everything I’ve written here about the power of BCC is based on my experience. I do hope more people start using this, especially those who know my email addresses. I’ve been getting a ton of spam lately because of unwelcomed / unwanted mass emails where the sender didn’t bother using BCC. It’s now on a daily basis that I get emails about winning the lottery or raffle, verification of accounts from fake domains, etc.

Oh, one last thing: you can also use BCC when you want to show someone that you sent an email to a certain person without the recipient’s knowledge. I know you can think of a situation or two where this will be most helpful. 😉

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