Often you will have a number of people in your address book who all belong to the same club, company, society, or whatever. In these cases you may often have instances where you want to send the same email to each of the people in a particular group.
To make doing this easier most email programs allow you to create groups and allocate the email addresses of all of the people who share something in common to that group. Once you have done this you can send emails to the group instead of having to build the list of email addresses separately each time and risk leaving someone out or perhaps including someone who shouldn't be included.
Depending on how you set up the group, sending to a group may just display the group name in the To: field. If this is the case then there is no problem in doing it that way. Unfortunately other email programs don't display the group name but if the group is defined in your email program then chances are that specifying the group as the To: address for the email may result in all of the email addresses being placed in the field ansd sent to all recipients of the email. Not only does this move the email content down making it harder for the recipients to read the email but it exposes all of the email addresses of the recipients to the risk of viruses or spam if any one of the recipients is infected as well as perhaps letting recipients know the addresses of the other recipients even where they have nothing in common except for requiring your emails.
The solution to this is the Bcc: field (which stands for blind copy). If you place your own email address in the To: field (meaning that you are sending the email to yourself) and place the group into the Bcc: field then everyone in the group will receive a copy of the email without their seeing any email address other than yours. This means that the email addresses take up a minimum of space at the top of the email and each recipient has no way of telling if they are the only recipient or if there are 10,000 other recipients of the same email. Also because the list of email addresses is not included in the email viruses that infect one recipient cannot get at the email addresses needed to attack the other recipients.
All email programs have a Bcc: field but some (such as Outlook Express) have the field hidden away in the default setup so that you need to change the settings in your email program in order to be aboe to use this field. In the case of Outlook Express you turn this on by selecting Create Mail and then going into the View menu and selecting All Headers. The Bcc: field will then be added to the top of the window for creating emails.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.