Using the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) Feature in Email | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
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Using the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) Feature in Email

Protecting Email Address Privacy

For security and privacy reasons, it is best to use the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) feature when sending an email message to a large number of people. When you place email addresses in the BCC field of a message, those addresses are invisible to the recipients of the email. Conversely, any email addresses that you place in the To field or the CC field are visible to everyone who receives the message.

Benefits of Using BCC

Using the BCC field to send an email message to a large group of people has a number of benefits, including:

  • The privacy of email addresses is protected in the original message. Recipients will receive the message, but won't be able to see the addresses listed in the BCC field.
  • When an email is forwarded, the addresses of everyone in the To and CC fields are also forwarded along with the message. Addresses that have been placed in the BCC field are not forwarded. 
  • If you have placed a large list of recipients in the To or CC field, all of them will receive the reply. By placing recipients in the BCC field, you can help protect them against receiving unnecessary replies from anyone using the Reply All feature.
  • Many viruses and spam programs are now able to sift through mail files and address books for email addresses. Using the BCC field acts as an anti-spam precaution. It reduces the likelihood that recipients will receive a spam message or a virus from another recipient’s infected computer.

Using the BCC Field

The following sections explain how to use the BCC feature with Microsoft Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, and Apple Mail: