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Using Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) in Outlook Express

If you send emails to multiple recipients, it is important to use the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) facility of your email program. Using BCC protects the privacy of your recipients and helps reduce spam. When you send an email to several people using the normal "To:" or "Cc;" fields, all of their email addresses are clearly displayed in the message. If the email is forwarded, the email addresses of all previous recipients may also be forwarded, as illustrated in the screenshot below.

Forward displaying email addresses

However, when you use BCC to send email to more than one person, the email addresses of your recipients will not be displayed in the emails.

Using BCC is very simple. The short tutorial below will show you how to use Blind Carbon Copy in Outlook Express. Although this tutorial is aimed at Outlook Express users, virtually every email program will have a similar blind carbon copy facility.

Step 1:

Start a new email, or click "Forward" button as appropriate.

Step 2:

If the BCC field is not already displayed, click "View" on the toolbar and then click "All Headers":

Forward displaying email addresses

Step 3:

The BCC Field will then be displayed:

Forward showing All headers Menu

Step 4:

Now you can add email addresses to the BCC field in the same way that you would with the "To: or "Cc:" fields.

You can add addresses directly into the BCC field, like this:

Adding addresses to the BCC field

Or click the Address Book icon and add email addresses to the BCC field, like this:

Adding BCC via the Address Book

Step 5:

Once you have added all the desired recipients to the BCC field, you can click Send to get your email on its way to all those addresses. When your recipients receive the email, a message such as "Undisclosed Recipient" will be displayed in the "To:" field and they will therefore not be able to view each other's email addresses:

Message displaying Undisclosed Recipient

As you can see, it is very easy to protect the email addresses of your friends and family by using the Blind Carbon Copy facility in Outlook Express. Before forwarding emails, it is also important to remove any previous email addresses from the messages.

The links below lead to other articles and tutorials about protecting the privacy of your email recipients:

Email Security Tip - Forward Responsibly
How Forwarding Emails can Increase Spam
A More Elegant Approach to Blind Carbon Copying