You’d surely have seen the CC and BCC fields in and around your email account or on your desktop email software (Outlook, Eudora). Do you know what these terms mean and do you know how to use these? If you do, great; if you don’t here are the differences for the folks who are not aware:
- Before the “CC” and the “BCC” fields, there is a “To” field, which must carry the email ID of the person to whom you are sending the email. This is mentioned just as a FYI – it has nothing to do with the difference between CC and BCC.
- CC means “Carbon Copy” while BCC means “Blind Carbon Copy.” “CC” is sometimes referred to as the “Courtesy Copy.”
- The CC field is like a “To” field. You should fill it in when you want to forward a copy of your email to any party who has an interest in the email discussion, and when you want the receiver of your email to know that a copy of the email was forwarded to other person/s as well. The person to whom the CC is sent may or may not be required to participate in the email discussion – he may just need to be informed. For example, if a debtor is not paying up his dues, then the finance department can send him a “pay-up” email with a copy to the management. The BCC field contains email IDs of people who should read the email to know what is going on, but the important difference here is that the email sender does not want the receiver to know about the people to whom copies of the email have been sent. So, email IDs that are entered in the BCC field are not visible to the receiver of the email. If in the example above, the finance department was sending a “pay-up” letter to a very important and large customer, then it could have BCC-ed the email to the management. This would have ensured that the management was in the loop – and the email receiver too would not know anything about the email’s BCC list, and there would be no chance of him taking any offence.
- An email ID in the CC field indicates to the reader that there is someone who is aware about the email’s content. The email ID in a BCC field does not display a list of people who received the email, and so the receiver is completely unaware about the list of the email’s receivers.
- When the email receiver hits “Reply all,” his email goes out to the sender and all the people in the CC. But, it does not go to the people in the BCC, because such BCC-ed email IDs did not appear in the receiver’s email message (but they did appear in the sender’s email’s fields).
- BCC is typically misused for spamming people. The CC cannot be misused for spam.
- BCC can also be used in cases when the list of receivers is very long. You don’t want the email receiver to be burdened with 100s of visible email addresses in the CC, do you?
- If you enter multiple email IDs in the CC field, all the receivers can see the people who got the mail. However, when multiple email IDs are entered in the BCC field, the recipients cannot figure out the people to whom the email was sent (other than the folks in the To and CC fields).
These are the essential differences between CC and BCC.