Don't reveal personally identifiable information (PII), such as domain names,
phone numbers, people's names, project names, or credit card numbers. You can
provide imaginary (fictitious) examples or use
placeholder variables, like
Example domain names
When you need a generic domain name in an example, use example.com, example.org, or example.net.
Example email addresses
If you need a generic email address, use one of the domains listed in "Example domain names"—for example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Example person names
When you need examples that include people's names to use in documentation, draw from the following list of given names:
Use the gender-neutral singular pronouns they, their, and theirs whenever possible, and avoid specifying gender unless it is integral to the information you are communicating. Avoid examples that depend on a gender binary. However, if you do write an example that requires specifying gender, consider that some of the names on this list may imply a particular gender in a given language or culture, and check to ensure that any names you have chosen do not carry a conflicting gender connotation.
Further notes about example people
When you are writing about people, even fictitious or hypothetical people, it's important to remember that your work will be read by real people whom we want to feel respected, valued, and welcomed.
Your audience includes different kinds of people, including people with different jobs, cultural contexts, and backgrounds, so strive to include a variety of people in your examples as well.
Be mindful of assumptions and stereotypes that might be reinforced through hypothetical examples, such as:
- Job roles and levels, such as executive, that might be disproportionately assigned particular gendered personas.
- Job roles, such as developer or engineer, that might be disproportionately assigned particular ethnic personas.
We recommend using names from the preceding list in most documentation. Some security documentation uses the Alice and Bob cast of characters. Don't use the Alice and Bob characters unless you're writing documentation that refers to a technical specification that uses those characters. If you use the Alice and Bob characters in a document, use only names from that cast of characters.
For further guidance, see the section of this guide on writing inclusive documentation.
Example company names
When you need a company name in an example, use Example Organization. If you need to differentiate between two different fictional companies, you can add a description to the company names. For example, you can use Enterprise Example Organization and Startup Example Organization.
Example phone numbers
When you want to show an example phone number, use a US number in the range (800) 555-0100 through (800) 555-0199. That range is reserved for use in examples and in fiction.
Never use a real phone number in examples.
Example IP addresses
When you need an IPv4 address in an example, such as in a log, use one of the RFC 5737 addresses provided for documentation purposes. These addresses are not used on the internet. The available IPv4 addresses include the following:
For IPv4 address ranges, use the following examples:
When you need an IPv6 address, use values from the RFC 3849 range. Example IPv6 addresses include the following:
For IPv6 address ranges, use the following example:
Example street addresses
Avoid using real street addresses in examples. Instead, use one of the following fictional street addresses:
- 1800 Amphibious Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94045
- Avenida da Pastelaria, 1903
- 8 Rue du Nom Fictif