Difference CC and BCC email. Define CC and BCC email. Different purposes of CC and BCC. List do’s and don’ts of the CC and BCC fields
Who hasn’t chuckled at an especially awkward “Reply all” mishap?
While they make great viral content, none of us actually want the humiliation of what we thought was a private conversation being shared. This is especially true for the deeply security conscious among us.
Even cringier, is when our personal information is disseminated to others without our knowledge. Our inboxes are overwhelmed enough without strangers, bots, or other third parties having hold of our email addresses. We don’t want this for ourselves, so we should be equally attentive to the privacy of others as well.
Knowing the differences between CC and BCC can avoid these embarrassing mistakes.
CC and BCC are two terms that many people use without knowing exactly what they mean. You may even be a frequent user of them, but you might not understand why they’re there or what they do. If you’re new to the world of CCs and BCCs, it can be confusing to figure out how to use them appropriately in a corporate, entrepreneurial, or personal setting.
In order to avoid misusing these functions, let’s take a look at what each one does and how it works. In this article we’ll:
By knowing proper CC and BCC etiquette, it’s possible to avoid being at either the receiving or sending end of a mishap. Read on to find out more!
When it comes to email, there are essentially two different types of recipients:
The term carbon copy (CC) originates from the 1800’s invention of the same name whereby a physical copy of a letter was made using carbon paper. One could simply think of it as a “copy” of the original email that is being sent.
Blind carbon copies (BCC) have the same functionality as CCs, in that they are copies of an email, but with a primary difference. Namely, that the intended recipient(s) and copied recipient(s) cannot see the email addresses of those BCCed, or even if an email has been BCCed at all.
The basic difference in purposes and uses for CC and BCC email can be summarized as:
While this might all seem straightforward, correctly operating the two has important email security implications. Especially in our current era of technology when privacy should be an expectation not an exception.
As is the truth with anything technological, CC and BCC emailing is more multifaceted than their analog counterpart. Besides the simple “BCC” is more private” and “CC is less private” distinction, there are three main ways the two function differently:
It’s important to know how the tools we use function so that we understand what the recipients of our emails experience. This is true in all facets of personal and professional life.
All technology also has social implications attached. This is especially true when it comes to a function that allows you to share private information. It is already clear that CCing and BCCing have different purposes, but what are they?
Knowing this, however, still leaves many of us questioning when it is or is not appropriate to use these functions.
CC is a generalized tool that can be used to either cast a wide net or connect specified individuals. While its prevalence may seem like it is dwindling due to messaging, it remains relevant in intergenerational workspaces. Below, find a list of scenarios in which to use the CC field.
A piece of etiquette to remember when being on the receiving end of a CC that is introducing you to someone new (whatever the reason may be): Only reply to that email to ensure the sender that you have read and understood the body of the email.
Put simply, when there is the possibility of a direct negative outcome of someone’s email address being shared. Namely:
While these may seem like niche scenarios, the privacy of others should always be taken into account when contemplating whether or not they should be included in the CC field. You never know what personal information or situations of theirs may be at risk of being spread without their consent.
Because of the increased privacy, BCC also comes with increased responsibility. It should be used primarily when an extra level of privacy is prudent or has been requested by a colleague, client, customer, or anyone really.
It is inappropriate to BCC people in the greatest portion of scenarios. At best, it’s an unethical breach of trust. At worst, it’s a spiteful, vindictive tool. Regardless, BCCing carries an air of secrecy that can be detrimental.
If you have messages or documents that you only want certain people to access, our “unsend” and “revoke authorization” functions can help. They’ll give you full control over all your private,sensitive information.
Yes. A BCCed recipient is hidden from those in the “To” and “CC” fields NOT vice versa.
Yes. It is important to be aware about who should or should not have access to an emails attachments. Taking the time and extra clicks to send a separate email or forward without an attachment will mitigate this possibility.
Quicker than you think. While this is a personal preference, best practice is to CC as seldom as possible. There are many innovative teamwork and productivity tools that are quickly replacing CCing by optimizing the functions we use it for.
For example, features such as @ mentioning and “assigning” tasks.
In truth, you only have full control over your own digital habits. However, our Canary Mail app can help you mitigate the impact of CCing and BCCing; both on your privacy and your inbox.
We aren’t just a leading, user-friendly PGP encryption service! We’re also dedicated to improving your workflow with our essential inbox merging, email management, and productivity features. These include:
With us, you get to decide if an email (and its attachments) stays in someone else’s inbox. This is priceless in cases where your trust has been compromised. It also comes in handy if you notice you’ve accidentally CCed someone who shouldn’t be.
Limiting how long a recipient can access your email is a powerful tool for keeping time sensitive documents in your control.
Ensuring that only your chosen recipient(s) can access your email’s body and attachments is as easy as toggling on or off our SecureSend function.
Want to keep a team conversation at the forefront of your mind? Pin it to the top of your inbox to keep your eyes on it while also being able to go through the rest of your emails.
Make sure you never miss an email from a colleague, client, vendor, loved one, etc. that truly matters.
Archive or delete spam or suspicious emails en masse.
Unsubscribe and prioritize all your newsletters right from the latest email you’ve received.
Our free forever plan comes with a 30-day trial where you can try out these and other features. Plus, we’re always looking to innovate our iOS, Macos, Windows, and Android apps with exactly what you need. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Reddit.
Proper usage of the CC and BCC is necessary for being both respectful and productive. When hovering over the CC or BCC field remember these main take-aways:
As a Canary Mail user, you can have near total control over your personal data and contact information. Our encryption and management features will keep third parties out of your business while putting actual business back on the top of your inbox.