Fictitious examples that include the names of people, places, organizations, or personal information are always potentially sensitive, both legally and from the worldwide perspective.
Follow these guidelines for using fictitious personal names, company names, email addresses, and URLs in examples in text, code, and screen captures.
Use the following fictitious address:
- 123 Main St.
- Anytown, MA 12345
Fictitious company names
Avoid making up company names. Instead, use descriptive words that are based on a characteristic of the company or organization. For example, use a large insurance company or a regional bank. When you need to refer to a company by a proper name, use generic names such as:
- Bank A
- Insurance Company 1
Fictitious email addresses
Fictitious IP addresses
To use an IP address in an example, 192.168.x.x (where each x can be replaced by any number 1-254) is always an internal address that is not accessible from the general Internet, as is 10.x.x.x.
Fictitious personal names
Do not use the names of actual persons or animated characters (for example, Disney characters) in examples. If you must use personal names in an example, choose diverse names:
- Andrea Carter
- Carlos Jiminez
- Thinh Nguyen
- Maria Bartelli
To create fictitious data, you can use a Monte Carlo data set record. For more information, see Creating a Monte Carlo data set record.
Fictitious phone numbers
For fictitious telephone numbers in North America, use the prefix 555 and a four-digit number between 0100 and 0199. For example, use 555-0187 or 425-555-0187 to include an area code. These numbers are not assigned to any lines in regional area codes in North America.
For fictitious phone numbers outside North America, determine the local phone system’s policy regarding phone numbers reserved for examples or for use in works of fiction. If no such policy exists, get legal clearance before creating a fictitious phone number.
Fictitious Social Security numbers
Do not make up Social Security numbers. Certain numbers are never allocated in Social Security numbers, so you may use these numbers in examples:
- Numbers with all zeros in any digit group (000-##-####, ###-00-####, ###-##-0000)
- Numbers with 666 or 900-999 in the first digit group (666-##-####, 900-##-####, 901-##-####)