The ‘Bcc’- Friend or Foe

On average, we receive over 100 emails per day. The daily inbox is comprised of spam, junk mail, solicitations, marketing advertisements, greeting cards, friendly ‘hellos’, newsletters, and of course, business correspondence. In business correspondence, the Bcc, otherwise known as Blind Carbon Copy, is used when the sender wants inform someone of the dialogue, but doesn’t want others to know that the “invisible recipient” is receiving the email. Simply put, it is a way to “hide” recipients from others.

Friendly Uses


• If your email has a large recipient list, you can use the Bcc to hide email addresses and protect recipients privacy.
• You can Bcc yourself in an email so that you can receive a copy and file it away electronically as a follow-up on a later date or for informational purposes.

Not So Friendly Uses
• Sending a reply to someone who would take offense to the communication - a method to inform them of what is being said about them or other subject matter
• Relaying confidential information to individuals who should not be receiving the information in the first place - Note: confidential information should not be sent in email form. Never send vital information such as account numbers, social security numbers, or credit card information in an email.
• Creating a paper trail - a supervisor documenting an employee’s responses or vice versa

The ‘Bcc’ feature is a helpful tool, but can be used for inappropriate or wrong purposes. Since you never know who is being Bcc’d in an email, never send a reply that you wouldn’t want someone else to read or make public. Call the person or visit them in person.

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