CC and BCC are ways of sending copies of an email to other people. However, you can also send copies of an email to more people by specifying multiple addresses in the To field.
Carbon copy (CC) explained
The abbreviation CC stands for “carbon copy.” By placing a sheet of carbon paper between two papers, the pressure of writing on the first paper will push the ink from the carbon paper onto the second paper, producing an additional copy of the document.
Like a physical copy, a CC is a way to send additional copies of an email to other people. Some people refer to CC as “courtesy copy”, which better describes what a CC really is. CC is often used as a verb, as in “I CCu you on the email.”
The Cc and Bcc fields when sending an email work in a similar way. CC stands for “carbon copy” while BCC stands for “blind carbon copy.” Although these terms may have been immediately obvious when email was invented, they are outdated today.
CC vs. BCC
When you CC an email, the CC list is visible to all other recipients. For example, if you CC [email protected] and [email protected] in an email, both Bob and Jake will know that the other also received the email.
BCC stands for “blind carbon copy.” Unlike the CC, no one but the sender can see the recipient list of the BCC. For example, if you have [email protected] and [email protected] in your BCC list, neither Bob nor Jake will know that the other received the email.
Someone on the BCC list can see everything else, including the CC list and the content of the email. Nevertheless, the BCC index is confidential: no one can notice this list besides the sender. If a person is on the Bcc list, he will only see his own email in the Bcc list.
When to use CC and BCC
CC is useful when:
- You want someone else to receive a copy of a message, but they’re not one of the primary recipients.
- You want the recipients of the message to know the other people to whom the message has been sent.
The BCC is useful when:
- You want someone else to receive an email, but you don’t want the primary recipients of the message to see that you’ve sent a copy to this other person. A clear example is when you have a problem with a co-worker, you can send an email about it and BCC it to the human resources department. Human Resources would receive a copy of their files, but your coworker would not know.
- If you want to send a copy of an email to a large number of people. Another example would be, if you have a mailing list with a large number of people, you could include them in the Bcc field. No one would be able to see each other’s email addresses. If you instead include these people in the CCC, you would be exposing their email addresses and they would see a long list of CCC emails in their email program. You could even put your own email address in the To field and include all other addresses in the Bcc field, hiding everyone else’s email address.
We hope that the use of the CC and BCC fields has been clearer for you. Remember that you can contact the Hosting team to answer any questions.