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A More Elegant Approach to Blind Carbon Copying

In other spam-control tips I discussed the wisdom of trimming email addresses before forwarding and using blind carbon copy to reduce spam.

When you send an email to all recipients using BCC, they will see a message such as "Undisclosed Recipient" displayed in the "To:" field. This might seem a little impersonal and you might prefer that a more appropriate message be displayed. Here's a way around the problem. These instructions are specifically for Outlook Express but they should be applicable to just about any email client. This method will also be helpful if your email client insists that you have at least one valid email address in the "To:" field.

  1. Open the address book and create a new contact.

  2. In the Name field, enter something like "All My Friends:"

  3. In the email address field enter your email address.

  4. Click OK to save the new address.

New Contact Image
Now when you want to forward an email to a number of recipients:

  1. Click the forward button and use the new "All My Friends" address as the main forwarding address.

  2. Add the addresses of your friends to the "Bcc:" field and send when ready.

New Message Image

When your friends receive the email, they will see something like:

Final Message

Thus your friends will know that you have sent the email to a number of people but have taken steps to hide their email address from other recipients. Of course this method means that you will receive a copy of the email you sent as well but this should be a small price to pay in exchange for reducing spam and protecting the privacy of your friends.

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen