Michael Maardt 2004

Email to many without everyone seeing all email addresses

You can send an email to many people at once in several different ways, and it is important to know the difference. Why? Because it is rude to pass on a person's email address WITHOUT asking him or her AND because all email addresses can be intercepted if one of the person's computer is attacked by malware or by a virus. Put another way: a virus spreads more easily that way.

How to do it

Enter YOUR OWN email address in the To: field. Enter the many email addresses in the Bcc: field, when you want to send to many WITHOUT them being able to see the other email addresses. The recipient gets an email and it looks like he/she is the only recipient, and can't even see his/her own email address.

Bcc means "Blind Carbon Copy", a relic from the old days with typewriters and carbon paper. You put several pieces of paper and between the white papers you put carbon paper, which then made a copy.

Technical explanation

When you write an email, you can specify the recipient's email address in 3 different ways, or in other words: address the person in 3 different ways:

1) To:, 2) Cc: or 3) Bcc:

An email must have at least one recipient in the To: field

To (To:): The recipient will be able to see other email addresses in To: and Cc: fields. If there are multiple recipients in To: and Cc:, all recipients will be able to Reply all:

Cc: (Carbon Copy): This field is about intent. The sender says to the recipient: "I'm sending this email to you too, just to your information (FYI it is called in English: For Your Information) and I expect not that you reply." The problem is, that very few users know their email program so well, that they can tell the difference if they have been inserted into a To: or Cc: field.

Bcc: Blind Carbon Copy: To the recipient, it looks like he/she is the only recipient. If you want to send to many people WITHOUT showing their email addresses to others, you use this method. You insert all email addresses in the Bcc: field, separated by commas or semicolons:
jenny@mail.es, john@mail.fr, viggo@mail.dk etc. I often send the email to myself, i.e. in the To: field, where you normally write the recipient.

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