Be Alert To Email Dangers


Q. When sending an e-mail to a lot of people, many of whom don’t know each other, I thought I was so clever when I addressed them as blind copies ( Bcc ). That way, I figured, when the e-mails arrived, all those Bcc addresses wouldn’t be in the To or Cc address line. I thought that was a great idea until I ran into this problem: One of my e-mail recipients replied to my message, but instead of clicking on Reply , she clicked on Reply to All . As a result all my Bcc recipients got the reply with all the names and addresses that I had tried to hide. To make matters worse, the message in the reply was sensitive, and everyone got to see it. So how do I send messages to people, safely keep their addresses hidden and not risk having a recipient seeing a reply?

A. That’s a good question, and quite frankly, I don’t have an answer. If anyone does have a practical solution—other than to send all sensitive messages individually using To or Forward instead of Bcc —please send it to me at and I’ll share the solutions in a future column.


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