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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BCC Howto

Get your Friends to use BCC

Send this link, or the contents of this post, to all your contacts, ...using BCC, of course.

When you receive a forwarded message, reply with a simple message, such as one or more of the following:
  • "Please don't forward any email to me without using BCC. "
  • "Please don't put my email address in the To or CC fields of messages being sent to people I don't know!"
  • "Please protect email addresses as you would unlisted phone numbers."
  • "Please don't forward any email to me with my email address in the To: or CC: fields."
"This is how spam and viruses get spread. See this article for more details -- BCC HOWTO "

What is BCC?

BCC (Blind Carbon Copy), is the practice of sending an e-mail to multiple recipients without disclosing the complete list of recipients. Unlike addresses in the To: or CC: fields, addresses in the BCC: field cannot be seen by other recipients.

Reasons to use BCC

Privacy - Sometimes a business may not want to make it's list of clients available to everyone, and sometimes a reply by anyone on the list would not be appropriate for everyone to receive.

Tracking - You may want to BCC yourself to make a copy, or a colleague to keep them informed.

Respect for your recipients - A forwarded message will often contain long lists of emails that were previously CC'd. This is useful to spammers, and very annoying for your recipients, because in the very near future they will also start receiving spam, and possibly viruses, thanks to your carelessness.

If you must forward a message, BCC is the best way to respect your recipients' privacy. Also remember to remove any email addresses within the message.

Avoid Mail Storms - If you send mail to a large list of users, someone may use "reply all". That in itself may not be too bad, but then someone else might also reply all, and before you know it everyone is replying, and some are using reply all to ask people not to use reply all. This can go on for hours or days, and be very distracting for all users on the list.

How To use BCC

1) Check the help menu or other documentation to make sure the option is enabled.

In Outlook
a) Start a new message
b) From the Menu, select "View"
c) Select "BCC Field"
The Field should now appear under the To, and CC fields.

In Outlook Express
a) Start a new message
b) From the Menu, select "View"
c) Click on "All headers"
The Field should now appear under the To, and CC fields.

2) Enter addresses into the BCC: field, instead of the To:, or CC: field.

How to use BCC in Yahoo Mail Classic

Why would you be asked to use BCC?

When people complain about things you forward, it is usually

  1. because of the content
  2. because of the potential for spam and viruses (you are forwarding their email address to everyone)

Complaint 1) "the content" is usually much less annoying than Complaint 2) "the potential for spam and viruses", and the fact that you are giving out the email address of your recipients with no regard for their privacy. The content is irrelevant. The main problem is that the recipient email addresses are not protected.

It is very simple to use BCC, so the next time you forward a message, stop and think...Check out the validity of the information on,  then use BCC, if you still think sending the message is the best choice.

Related links -- BCC for Privacy!

US-CERT -- Benefits of BCC

How to Use BCC

How to Use BCC in Yahoo Mail

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sudo Make me a Sandwich

You may have seen this artwork around the office where Unix / Linux geeks hang out.

This is where you can find it:

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