When and How to Blind Carbon Copy
What is a BCC? A BCC is a secretly distributed copy of an e-mail. The regular recipient of the e-mail is unaware of the person you have BCC’d.
When should you use a BCC? There are two common reasons to BCC someone. One is when you are sending an e-mail to a large group of people whose contact information you don’t want to publically share. Instead of drafting an e-mail to each individual, you can BCC each person and send the e-mail to yourself.
The second reason is to create an additional record by BCCing yourself.
When should you not use a BCC? It has been known to happen that a BCC is used to tattle on a colleague. This is a huge no-no. DO NOT BCC the boss to tell on someone and expose their mistakes. Address the individual one-on-one and face-to-face. If no resolution can be reached, then talk to the boss. Don’t use a random e-mail to solve the problem.
If you are BCC’d, when should you reply? Never. It is too easy to hit “reply all” to a BCC. If you do this, you have now thrown the sender under the bus. Should you need to respond to the recipient, draft a new e-mail.