Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 14, 2016
Protecting recipients’ privacy when sending mass emails

We all belong to email lists. This is where we have signed up to receive periodic special offers, notifications or even family news. These lists can be used for business or private use. If you want to create a mass email list where you will be sending out the same email to several people or even hundreds of people, here is how to protect the privacy of all the recipients that receive your information.

I regularly send out mass emails to my customers, friends and those wanting to know more about computers. When you receive an email from me, though, it appears that you are the only one receiving it. This not only helps those receiving my information feel it is a personal email directed just to them, but it also does not disclose the email addresses of those who also receive the news.

Often, I receive an email from senders that do not protect my name and email address when sending out to multiple recipients and this does bother me because once someone receives the email, they then can harvest all the names and addresses contained in the email to increase their list for their own purposes. Spam email is such an annoying thing and this is just one of many ways that email addresses are found.

Make no mistake, email lists are big business because they can generate massive revenue for those who use them. I recall several years ago where the FBI and other agencies arrested three people in connection with the theft of over one billion names and email addresses. As stated by the Department of Justice, “These men — operating from Vietnam, the Netherlands, and Canada — are accused of carrying out the largest data breach of names and email addresses in the history of the Internet,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. It is a huge business. By the way, don’t ever spam people, it is in very poor taste and it also is against the law. If you wish to build an email list, it should be done by invitation.

To avoid disclosing all your recipients in a mass email, once you compose your email, there should be a link within the email window with the option: “Bcc.” This field will be available regardless of the email program you use. Click this link and put all your email addresses in this field. The acronym stands for: “blind carbon copy” and it means that others will not see the other recipients who are also receiving the email. If you use the “Cc” field, which stands for “carbon copy,” everyone in the “To” and “Cc” fields will see each other as a recipient of the email. Only the “Bcc” field will keep your recipients private. If you use the “To,” “Cc” and “Bcc” fields, only those listed in the “To” and “Cc” fields will see each other’s email address and any in the “Bcc” fields will be kept private.

It is a simple process to follow and for most of us, we appreciate you taking the effort when you email out information to multiple recipients, to keep our names and email addresses private.

For 14 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 250 articles about Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at

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