Welcome to our unaccompanied tours (UT) blog, Foggy Bottom Rambles! We can share information, programs, and resources quickly with you and since blogs are a two way street, we (and the other readers) can hear from you. What's in a name you say? This blog reflects how we (back here in DC, Foggy Bottom area) provide information (rambles) to you. Find tips from the field, websites and information, home is where the hooch is suggestions, upcoming programs and events and follow our book club. Let us know what you think: contribute to the blog or email us at FLOaskUT@state.gov.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mark your Calendars!

It's that time of year again...time for the annual Youth Awards Ceremony held at the State Department!
The midday event held on July 20th honors the Foreign Service Youth Foundation award winners and children with parents serving on an unaccompanied tour.  If your child has ever received an unaccompanied tour award he or she may like to attend this ceremony.   If you are interested please contact us at FLOaskUT@state.gov       ASAP!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Websites and Information


Security Precautions when Traveling with Laptops

The FBI issued the following warning for malware installed on travelers’ laptops through software updates on hotel internet connections:

“Recently, there have been instances of travelers’ laptops being infected with malicious software while using hotel Internet connections.  In these instances, the traveler was attempting to setup the hotel room Internet connection and was presented with a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely-used software product.  If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop.  The pop-up window appeared to be offering a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.  The FBI recommends that all government, private industry, and academic personnel who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software products on their hotel Internet connection.  Checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor may reveal an attempted attack.  The FBI also recommends that travelers perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling, and that they download software updates directly from the software vendor’s Web site if updates are necessary while abroad.”

Prohibitions on Usage of Government-Issued Laptops:

·        Downloading Unapproved Software:  All Department laptops must be encrypted with approved Department software, and only ITCCB or CA_CCB approved software can be installed on Department laptops.
·        Downloading Internet Software:  Internet Software must be installed by CA System Administrators from authorized sites.  You may not download internet software to your government laptop without prior approval from the system administrators.

Additional Security Tips:
·        Read Hotel Wi-Fi Directions and avoid connecting to fake hotspots by verifying which network actually belongs to the hotel.
·        Never click on a pop-up window.   Reputable sites should not require a pop-up to work or function.
·        Make sure software updates and security patches are applied on a regular basis and especially prior to a long trip.
·        Make sure Anti-Virus definitions are kept updated.

Additional Laptop travel tips can be found on the IRM Mobile Computing Office website:  http://irm.m.state.sbu/sites/ops/MSO/EML/MC/MCO/Pages/laptops_home.aspx

FBI notices on scams can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Laptop software updates or security issues, please contact the CA Service Desk (CAServiceDesk@state.gov) or the CA ISSO Security Team (CAISSO-Security-Team@state.gov).


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

About town


AAFSW / FSYF Picnic on Sunday, July 1

AAFSW and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation are co-sponsoring a
community potluck picnic on Sunday afternoon, July 1 from 4:30 - 7:30
PM. We have reserved the picnic area and shelter at Nottoway Park in
Vienna (the same place where FSYF normally holds the fall picnic). All
food and drink will be potluck, and volunteers will lead some fun
activities.

This event is for all Foreign Service employees and family
members -- couples and singles with and without kids.

Email any questions to office@aafsw.org, and please RSVP to the same address --
but if you forget to RSVP, just showing up is fine too. Hope to see you 

AAFSW / FSYF Picnic on Sunday, July 1

AAFSW and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation are co-sponsoring a
community potluck picnic on Sunday afternoon, July 1 from 4:30 - 7:30
PM. We have reserved the picnic area and shelter at Nottoway Park in
Vienna (the same place where FSYF normally holds the fall picnic). All
food and drink will be potluck, and volunteers will lead some fun
activities.

This event is for all Foreign Service employees and family
members -- couples and singles with and without kids.

Email any questions to office@aafsw.org, and please RSVP to the same address --
but if you forget to RSVP, just showing up is fine too. Hope to see you there

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Specialist in FLO

Welcome Margaret! 
FLO is happy to announce Margaret Bunton has started work as the Unaccompanied Tour Specialist.  Many of you know Margaret from Cairo where she served as CLO.  You will be able to virtually meet Margaret on tomorrow's web chat about EFM employment in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.  The broadcast starts tomorrow at 8 a.m. so if you are interested in learning more please write FLOaskUT@state.gov for log on instructions. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

If you want to change the world, first try to improve and bring about change within yourself.  That will help change your family.  From there it just gets bigger and bigger.  Everything we do has some effect, some impact.   HHDL


Our little part of the FLO is changing.... Lola has finished her tour as a valuable part of the UT Team and has moved on to the exciting job and life of a Dipomatic Courier.  I already miss her and her insightful input to FLO.  She has done an outstanding job and I'm sure has a great career ahead of her.   
Best of Luck Lola! :)