Email Etiquette-The Biggest Mistake People Make Forwarding Emails

Would you want your friends to post your unlisted phone number on the web?  Probably not.  But many people  make this same kind of mistake to their friends privacy by sending emails using the CC (Carbon Copy) field or by entering all their recipients’ name on the To: line of the email.

When you send an email using the CC field everyone who receives this email knows your address.  If by chance this is an email such as a good joke that gets circulated to “everyone on the planet”, there is an excellent chance this email will end up in the hands of a spammer and then it will get circulated through their spammer’s network.

Before you know it, just one email forwarded to a friend now has you on hundreds spammers lists.  Now, your email address that you just wanted to share with friends is now shared with the world.  After your spam gets so bad, you’ll be forced to cancel that email address and start with a fresh new one.  All because of one email that was forwarded incorrectly.

If you’re in business, would you think of giving away your contact list? That’s what you’re doing by including everyone in the To or CC fields. And some recipients of your mailing might consider everyone else on your list interested in similar mailings and feel free to use the list themselves.

Viruses and spam-bots are now designed to go through mail files and address books looking for potential addresses. Sending a single message individually addressed to a large list of people increases the chances that they all will be spammed or sent a virus should any one of them get infected.

So what is the proper etiquette and business way to forward emails?  Use the BCC field for everyone you want to forward email to.  When recipients receive emails when you use the BCC field, they will not be able to see the email addresses of the other recipients.  It’s that simple.  It keeps everyone’s email address private and decreases the chance of it being used for spam to almost zero.

Here are the rules to follow of when to use the CC and BCC fields.  Use the CC field only if you want to share the email and make all the recipients aware of who is receiving this email also.  For example, you would only do this in an office setting when you send an email to all the members of your project team.

Use the BCC for all other emails you want to forward to multiple people.


Below, is a what I send to people who aren’t aware of the ettiqute mistake they’re making when they include my email address in the CC field.  Feel free to copy this and use it yourself.

Please click on the link below. It will provide you with information about forwarding emails and privacy that I think you might find helpful. Using BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) instead of CC (Carbon Copy) will keep you and all your recipients of forwarded emails safer and keep your email addresses private.

As I would like to be protected from spam and viruses and keep my email address private, please use BCC instead of CC when forwarding me emails in the future.  If you want to continue using CC, please use my “spam email address”  My email address of is used only for a few close friends (of which you are one) and I want to keep it private.

Sending a single message individually addressed to a large list of people using CC or listing all their email recipients in the “To” section instead of BCC increases the chances that they all will be spammed or sent a virus should any one of them get infected. And as privacy goes, it’s like posting your private unpublished phone number on the internet, where everyone in the world has access to it.

Many people aren’t aware of BCC and why using CC or listing all their email recipients in the “To” section is not proper email etiquette. This link will show you how to use BCC. I would suggest you make this same request to everyone who does not use Blind Carbon Copy with you and also send them this link. If you have any questions about this or need help using BCC, please call me.



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4 Responsesto “Email Etiquette-The Biggest Mistake People Make Forwarding Emails”

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