Question: How do I hide addresses in emails and make life hard for spammers?



Answer: Emails that are sent that have lots of visible email addresses are valuable on the dark web and to phishers and spammers. Emails get forwarded to different people and the email just has to get in one wrong hand and that person will sell the list. Part of the value is it is a current list of email addresses and also that the spammer knows something related so can use that as a phisher to get a better response rate. Tso the list is sold on the dark web.

Now how to stop that or at least make it not as easy for the threat agents

When you send an email if it is going to more than 5-10 people put the names in BCC. On most email systems you see the place to put addresses in TO and CC. Just put in TO one address or use your own. Skip the CC (carbon copy from typewriter days which means a piece of carbon paper (it was a sheet covered in carbon so black rubbed of easily, sometimes called tracing paper) was put between two sheets of paper and the top is what was sent but you had made a second copy (or carbon copy) which either you kept or sent to someone else but not primary contact. You also put on the original the name who copy (cc) was sent too.

The BCC (blind carbon copy) also dates to typewriter days and was when you made a copy and sent to a person you did not tell the main recipient you sent a copy to this person, so blind carbon copy.

On email it works similarly. On some email systems the BCC line appears. On others clicking onTO causes you to be able to see the BCC line. As far as you are entering the email, putting addresses in BCC is the same as in TO or CC. The difference is they do not appear in the email when the receiver gets it, so the receiver does not know where all was sent.

Using BCC when sending emails to groups of more than 5010 recipients will help reduce the amount of spam you get.

Send me your questions about computers to me at the paper or to my email and tell me you read this in this paper. I will pick a question to answer each week.

Dwight Watt does computer work for businesses, individuals and organizations and teaches about computers at a technical college in northwest Georgia. His webpage is His e-mail address is


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