Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #7 5/6/2009

Question: How do I keep everyone from knowing who I sent an e-mail to?

Answer: You can use the BCC feature to hider recipients on an e-mail. Although you cannot always hide from people doing detailed work on where all e-mails have gone to, you can hide the list of people you have sent the e-mail to from the receivers.

If you are forwarding e-mails to groups of people or sending e-mails to groups of people (more than about five people at a time) it is nice to your receivers that you not show the list of everyone getting the message. There are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes professional correspondence may be going to say 20 people and all 20 need to know the other 20 received it. Also the receiver of the e-mail will not have to look down past a list of names and find the actual message.

Use the BCC to hide the names. BCC is Blind Carbon Copy, a term left over from typewriter days. In most e-mail programs you will see it listed just like TO and CC. If you list the names in TO or CC then they will appear as a list at the top of the e-mail. If you use BCC the receiver does not see the names. Put your e-mail addresses in BCC just like you do in TO and CC. In Microsoft Outlook 2007 look under Options and you will see a Show BCC button that allows you to use BCC and shows the BCC entry line. If it does not show in your program look for options in your program and you can turn it on..

You should put an address in TO also when you use BCC. If there is a person(s) that everyone should know got the e-mail use their address in TO. If there is not, you could choose any user or I usually use another of my e-mail addresses. You could use the address you are sending from, but some receiving e-mail systems will block the e-mail since it has the same TO and FROM although a different BCC to their system.

You correspondents will like you a lot better for your e-mails, and they will look more professional, if you use the BCC option.

Send me your questions about computers to me at the paper or to my e-mail dwight@dwightwatt.com and tell me you read this in the paper. I will pick a question to answer each week.

(c) 2009 by Dwight Watt
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