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How-To Geek

Blind Carbon Copy (BCC)

In email composition, the “BCC:” section, short for Blind Carbon Copy, is a method of sending an email to additional addressees without alerting the primary addressees (and the potential secondary addresses in the “CC:” section) that the email has been shared beyond those listed on the email. The practice is a holdover from the days of paper letters and memos where a document within an organization would be intended for a specific recipient but could also have additional recipients (including those whose identity, for whatever purpose, needed to remain hidden from the other recipients).

In modern email practices, the “BCC:” is seldom used as it is considered poor business etiquette to not disclose who else is participating in a conversation. The only exception to this near blanket ban on the use of the blind carbon copy is when the goal is to protect and conceal the recipient list. For example, if you wished to send an email to twenty of your clients reminding them of something but did not want to give all twenty clients access to the other nineteen clients’ email address out of respect for their privacy, using the “BCC:” slot would be the right choice.

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