Why no password on newer Garmin models?

 

I'm still wondering why Garmin decided to stop including a password option on power-up.

There are plenty of reasons for having one, like protecting your travel history and especially your HOME address from a thief. They could drive right into your garage via the "included" remote, and stalkers could find related addresses to track you down. These situations do come up in the real world, so why make it easier? It doesn't matter if it's rare.

This was discussed in older threads, but my comments didn't get saved. I was surprised at peoples' casual attitude toward theft. Someone who'd steal a car is not someone you'd want with any personal data. Even if they just stole the GPS unit and lacked time to find ID papers, it's common sense to have a password for the same reasons they're used with phones.

If any Garmin engineers read this: Did some users keep forgetting their passwords? Was there a liability issue in case GPS was needed for an emergency? Thanks for any details on why these devices are wide open now.

Maybe...

...it’s because nobody ever used them. I don’t think that I used a password on any of my GPS’s since my very first one which was a Street Pilot 330 many, many years ago.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Just my opinion!

If you're dumb enough to sit in your driveway and set that as your "Home" location you cannot be helped.
Set it 1/2 km-mile away, you should be able to find your way home from there!
Other than that what "personal" info is in your GPS.
Just for what it's worth I cannot remember ever having a password going back to my original Nuvi 350 way back in 2002!

I just want to add, I believe in the USA you are supposed to carry your "Title" in your car, which I believe has your address on it!

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, DriveSmart 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

Here we go again, paranoia

Here we go again, paranoia about getting the GPS stolen and the crooks have nothing better to do then find where you live. Not even a good cable movie plot.

My traval history is turned of on the device, because I don't need or ever use it, and I don't send it to Garmin either.

Nonsense! Worry about something more likely to happen.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Not in Ohio

Melaqueman wrote:

...I just want to add, I believe in the USA you are supposed to carry your "Title" in your car, which I believe has your address on it!

In Ohio you don't need to have the car's title in your car; you're probably thinking about proof on insurance. I'd be surprised if ANY state requires the title in the car.

Phil

--
Phil in Mentor, Ohio -- Garmin Nuvi 1450

Colorado registrations come in two pieces

Colorado registrations come in two pieces. One, which is for ownership transfer (I guess), has your address and one is to be kept in the car without an address. At a neighborhood watch meeting discussing this topic I complained that my proof of insurance still had my address. The cop running the show chided me for not merely having an image of it on my phone. I don't know how that'll work if I cross the dotted line into another state.

I never password protect my

I never password protect my devices (portable nav, smartphones, tablet etc).

Beats me

I have no idea why.

I don't have the newest

but all the old one that I have password protected but I turn it off.

I will guess that it might be...

Garmin helping folks remember and retrieve the password would be time consuming and hard to do. I work for a company that we have to help people retrieve the password they forget and boy, it is ALOT of times they forget. I would not blame Garmin to stop using that feature if it took a lot of time for the customer support to help users with passwords!

--
Bobkz - Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD/2455LMT/C530/C580- "Pain Is Fear Leaving The Body - Semper Fidelis"

Maybe not nonsense....

KenSny wrote:

Here we go again, paranoia about getting the GPS stolen and the crooks have nothing better to do then find where you live. Not even a good cable movie plot.

My traval history is turned of on the device, because I don't need or ever use it, and I don't send it to Garmin either.

Nonsense! Worry about something more likely to happen.

I had first heard about this while on business in the Baltimore area, maybe as much as 10 years ago. I was programming a GPS while sitting next to a state trooper at a diner. He asked if I had "Home" programmed, which I did (end of driveway) and he suggested I change it. I also go out of my way to remove anything with an address or blacken the address with a magic marker. In Pennsylvania you might have to have an insurance card, but it doesn't have to show an address.

There are cases of theft; a common scenario I see reported is theft of cars around the holidays where the thief gets a GPS showing where home is and a garage door opener to make things easy. One such link discussing this can be found at https://patch.com/maryland/owingsmills/baltimore-county-offi...

--
John from PA

I do wish Garmin Lock was still available

Driving a convertible I do wish the "old" Garmin Lock feature was still available.

--
John from PA

well

If my car was broken into, or stolen, and the garage door opener was in the car, the first thing I would do is change the code on the garage door, and then change the door code and my wife's opener to match. Easy!

I never give a repair shop my house keys when they ask for the car key. But they want an address on the innoice.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

PIN Number

PIN number (or password) usage should be optional.

Been discussed before as to how easy it is to circumvent, but the average car thief doesn't know how easy it is. Don't think there is a big market for stolen GPS devices anymore.

I remove my 3597 every night and remove it from view when parked elsewhere.

--
Metricman Nuvi 660, GTM-20 Traffic Receiver Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

Did you read the link content?

KenSny wrote:

If my car was broken into, or stolen, and the garage door opener was in the car, the first thing I would do is change the code on the garage door, and then change the door code and my wife's opener to match. Easy!

I never give a repair shop my house keys when they ask for the car key. But they want an address on the innoice.

You might not have read the link. It involves a car stolen while the owners were at a football game. Hmmm, that’s about two hours, plenty of time to ransack a house before you even know your car is gone and the garage door opener needs to be reprogrammed.

Around here police caution that at one large shopping mall (King of Prussia PA), gangs of thieves watch for people going to the nearby movie theatre. That guarantees about two hours of free time to find and ransack your house. Same thing is cautioned around the holidays as people shop.

--
John from PA

Whatever

I did read the link, but I don't think the odds are that your house will be broken into. They are stealing cars for the quick turnover of car for cash.

I'm done with this.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

I don't get the mindset of these answers

Why is it "dumb" to want a fully accurate route home just for the heck of it, or for an elderly person who gets lost? There are any number of situations where this is useful, regardless of what "most people" do. I'm not generic.

Do you also think smartphone passwords are some sort of gimmick? Granted, they have more personal data on them but it's all relative.

Nobody is actually answering this question, as I noticed in older, related threads. Garmin had password before (in my 2005 nuvi) and I just want to know why they stopped offering it.

Waste of time, I guess

Not much critical thinking going on in this forum, apparently.

Garmin offered a password before, and had reasons for doing it. Why did they stop? Simple question.

Only in a best-case scenario

As another poster commented, what makes you think the timing of the whole thing would make reprogramming a catch-all solution? Also, many people (e.g. the elderly) don't have the ability to do these things.

Part of why I'm asking is that my widowed mom now needs a GPS to avoid getting lost. She's at the age where she probably won't drive much longer, but the GPS is helping her a lot, including the HOME feature. I programmed HOME to be near her main residential turnoff but not directly at her house, but I would have made it exact if a password was allowed.

If any Garmin engineers are reading this, please chime in. I should probably just ask them directly but many companies only give vague official info.

Yeah, "whatever" aka "meh"

KenSny wrote:

I did read the link, but I don't think the odds are that your house will be broken into. They are stealing cars for the quick turnover of car for cash.

I'm done with this.

Not the deep end of the thinking pool, I see.

Why not?

What's up with people who take security so lightly, given constant warnings to the contrary?

Someone essentially called it "dumb" to want a password option, but I'd say it's the exact opposite.

Good to see common sense

It doesn't even matter if this or that case happened to Tom or Joe. It's just wise in this information & identify theft age to have a password on anything with personal info stored therein.

I'd keep personal data off a GPS SD card, of course.

Many people seem to enjoy being apathetic about risk, but they tend to blame others when Murphy's Law bites them. AGW is a prime example but that's off-topic here.

Garmin Support answer pending

I used Garmin's website chat and was told this:

"Unfortunately, we weren't given an official reason as to why. I can submit your feedback requesting the feature be brought back."

I'll post here if they send me an official answer. Surprised at all the incurious comments on this topic, but thanks to those who get it.

My Name is Nobody, then (old movie title)

maddog67 wrote:

...it’s because nobody ever used them. I don’t think that I used a password on any of my GPS’s since my very first one which was a Street Pilot 330 many, many years ago.

That's just not true. A good percentage of people surely saw fit to use passwords, i.e. the same people who don't need to be told to put them on smartphones, PCs, etc.

The exact user ratio is impossible to know but I was a "nobody" for years with my old Garmin nuvi. Why would I want to make it any easier for a lowlife to know my travels?

You see many stories about laptops being stolen, containing names, addresses (normally unlisted) and SSNs of people, and it can usually be traced to "meh" attitudes about security. I was just part of a major breach along those lines. Someone left a laptop at an office they'd visited and it was stolen, but they won't give us details.

Based on people I've worked with who complain about IT making them change their passwords every few months, it's clear how these things happen. A fairly minor annoyance can prevent much bigger headaches.

Likely answer

bobkz wrote:

Garmin helping folks remember and retrieve the password would be time consuming and hard to do. I work for a company that we have to help people retrieve the password they forget and boy, it is ALOT of times they forget. I would not blame Garmin to stop using that feature if it took a lot of time for the customer support to help users with passwords!

Good point. I'll see if they concur since I just officially asked them; will post here if they reply.

However, nobody is forcing users to create a password, so a disclaimer in the owner's manual should cover that.

They could also bring back the feature with an easy online reset option like most Web passwords allow. I'd not want to logon to a Garmin giving an email address each time, but there's surely a way to just enter a password and have email only needed for resets.

Past threads

aGPS1219 wrote:

...

... Surprised at all the incurious comments on this topic, but thanks to those who get it.

I can understand why you're surprised at some of the responses here as a new user at the POI Factory. Here's my thought. In the past decade or more, this topic (and also the case for where to save your "Home" location) has come up many times and most of us that remember those discussions feel "all talked out with nothing more to add and no need to repeat our past thoughts." Some examples:

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/24037

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/29444

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/9911

Forum members are just Garmin customers like you.

We often raise questions about why Garmin does the things they do with adding and removing features on new models. AFAIK, none of us on this forum are Garmin "insiders", so we have may have theories and guesses about why they do what they do, but we don't know. Bottom line … only Garmin itself knows why they no longer offer the PIN feature, and they don't tell us.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

;p

John from PA wrote:

Driving a convertible I do wish the "old" Garmin Lock feature was still available.

A couple of my many GPS's are a Zumo 450 and a Zumo 550 mounted on my motorcycle. They had a physical locking mechanism so someone couldn't just pop it off and walk away with it. Subsequent models did not have this feature and I have not bought one of them because of it. I'd love a newer, more feature rich version, but if I have to pop it off and take it with me if I stop for lunch or go to the store, etc. it's not worth it to me.

maddog67 wrote:

...it’s because nobody ever used them. I don’t think that I used a password on any of my GPS’s since my very first one which was a Street Pilot 330 many, many years ago.

I've never used a password on my GPS either.

Wow, my very first GPS was the Streetpilot 330c, that was a long time ago for sure, lol.

Melaqueman wrote:

~snip~

I just want to add, I believe in the USA you are supposed to carry your "Title" in your car, which I believe has your address on it!

Here in PA the only time a title is needed is to transfer ownership of the car. What we do have to have when operating the car is the vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Yes most folks just leave those in the glove box, but you don't have to, you could keep them in a wallet or purse for example.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Online Password Reset

aGPS1219 wrote:
bobkz wrote:

Garmin helping folks remember and retrieve the password would be time consuming and hard to do. I work for a company that we have to help people retrieve the password they forget and boy, it is ALOT of times they forget. I would not blame Garmin to stop using that feature if it took a lot of time for the customer support to help users with passwords!

Good point. I'll see if they concur since I just officially asked them; will post here if they reply.

However, nobody is forcing users to create a password, so a disclaimer in the owner's manual should cover that.

They could also bring back the feature with an easy online reset option like most Web passwords allow. I'd not want to logon to a Garmin giving an email address each time, but there's surely a way to just enter a password and have email only needed for resets.

A couple of points I'd like to add:

Many Garmin devices, fitness units for example, have password protection. Garmin offers an app and an online reset procedure which could easily be modified for nav devices:

https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=ql8sjt65DW9nEZzkoyBuuA

I suspect, as many have already said, few owners use passwords on their automotive GPSr's so Garmin simply discontinued the option.

I've been using Garmin units since the mid 90's, starting with my old GPS II+, and never used the password feature. On my newer units with a backup cam, the unit boots when I start the car and the camera turns on automatically. I don't want to take time to enter a password before I back out of a parking space or my garage.

in 15 years I've only had 1

in 15 years I've only had 1 GPS stolen from my car and it was stolen out of my car in my driveway at my house.

If a thief really wanted to find out where you lived they could just take your registration card as well when they steal your GPS.

I don't think its that big of a deal to worry about plus how many people are stealing GPS's these days?

for those not aware of the "Garmin Lock" feature...

John from PA wrote:

Driving a convertible I do wish the "old" Garmin Lock feature was still available.

It is apparent from some of the content in this thread that some may not be aware of what the Garmin Lock feature is (or was). Quoting from the Garmin website

Quote:

Garmin Lock is an anti-theft feature. You can set a 4-digit PIN (personal identification number) that you enter every time you turn on your device. After you set your PIN, you can also set a security location. The security location is an actual physical location that your device stores in case you forget your PIN. To unlock the device with the security location, it must be within 50 meters or about 164 feet of the set location.

These days with the improved accuracy of the GPS system the distance parameter to reset the device could be much lower than the 50 meters or 164 feet.

--
John from PA

One's personal luck is not universal luck.

lugnuts wrote:

in 15 years I've only had 1 GPS stolen from my car and it was stolen out of my car in my driveway at my house.

If a thief really wanted to find out where you lived they could just take your registration card as well when they steal your GPS.

I don't think its that big of a deal to worry about plus how many people are stealing GPS's these days?

I have to wonder what level of security you had on your car and your general risk-perception. Was it unlocked? Surely you can imagine scenarios on this planet other than your own? Cars get broken into constantly on the street and parking lots, and there was no magic cutoff when thieves lost interest in GPS. They tend to take anything they can grab. That's why Garmin manuals warn about leaving them in plain sight.

A big reason for my question is that I've relied on smartphones since my old nuvi stopped being reliable for various reasons. I've never been satisfied with phone apps full of cluttered icons and inconsistent sound, so a dedicated GPS is still ideal. If some users don't want a password, they don't have to use that feature, but why just get rid of it? The old Garmin Lock also allowed you to drive to a security location if you forgot the PIN, so you could reset it (I forgot to mention that in other replies).

Garmin's marketing people should take note, since they can increase sales (vs. smartphones) for wiser people by reintroducing passwords/PINS. I'm investigating other brands for that feature and someone must know exactly why it was dropped. No point in further replies unless you know the reason.

Well

Reason is as posted above by various folks. It proved unnecessary and generally not used, however there will always be some who regret its passing. Garmin in the past has withdrawn way more features than that which seemed to impact folks a lot more smile

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

It depends on the user's risk-perception

sussamb wrote:

Reason is as posted above by various folks. It proved unnecessary and generally not used, however there will always be some who regret its passing. Garmin in the past has withdrawn way more features than that which seemed to impact folks a lot more smile

What are some of those other features for comparison?

I find a password very necessary, just as with a smartphone, but apparently repeating my reasons will never sink in with some folks. It's not as serious as those who won't take global warming seriously, still smoke after decades of warnings, fight helmet laws, etc. But I see similar cavalier attitudes in all of those mindsets.

Abandoned features.

aGPS1219 wrote:

What are some of those other features for comparison?

MP3 player, audiobook player, picture viewer, FM transmitter, audio jack, Bluetooth audio output, magnetic mount, powered mount, external antenna jack, speed limit correction feature, world clock, currency converter, language guide.

These are some that come to mind for me. I am sure other folks can come up with some other features that have come and gone with the evolution of the various model series.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

Re: For Those Not Aware Of The "Garmin Lock" Feature...

Of course, the same people who forget passwords are likely to forget their security location. I got a non-answer from Garmin (so far) and I'll go with the idea of them finding complaints too much of a hassle.

But people who know they're prone to losing passwords aren't forced to use the feature. Garmin could state that in bold red letters on the package for those who don't read instructions. Those who don't read anything ought not drive. ;-]

Unrelated: Why does this forum allow manually adding a new subject line to each reply in the same thread? I've seen it elsewhere, too.

How do they know how many people don't use PINs aka passwords?

bdhsfz6 wrote:
aGPS1219 wrote:
bobkz wrote:

Garmin helping folks remember and retrieve the password would be time consuming and hard to do. I work for a company that we have to help people retrieve the password they forget and boy, it is ALOT of times they forget. I would not blame Garmin to stop using that feature if it took a lot of time for the customer support to help users with passwords!

Good point. I'll see if they concur since I just officially asked them; will post here if they reply.

However, nobody is forcing users to create a password, so a disclaimer in the owner's manual should cover that.

They could also bring back the feature with an easy online reset option like most Web passwords allow. I'd not want to logon to a Garmin giving an email address each time, but there's surely a way to just enter a password and have email only needed for resets.

A couple of points I'd like to add:

Many Garmin devices, fitness units for example, have password protection. Garmin offers an app and an online reset procedure which could easily be modified for nav devices:

https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=ql8sjt65DW9nEZzkoyBuuA

I suspect, as many have already said, few owners use passwords on their automotive GPSr's so Garmin simply discontinued the option.

I've been using Garmin units since the mid 90's, starting with my old GPS II+, and never used the password feature. On my newer units with a backup cam, the unit boots when I start the car and the camera turns on automatically. I don't want to take time to enter a password before I back out of a parking space or my garage.

Speed of startup I can see being a reason, but still, the password (PIN, correctly stated) has been optional, so everyone wins. Arguments against it imply people are forced to use it, or it might magically be set for them.

And how do they know how many people don't use PINs unless they've sent out surveys or are checking stealthily during Internet map updates?

I use the PIN code and agree, but everyone's memory isn't great

I agree that they should make the option available but they probably got lots of support calls from people who forgot their PIN and didn't set a reset location, or perhaps they forgot where it was, along with their PIN.

Many, many years ago, Pioneer used to make car stereo head-end units with a "Secret Code" feature, similar to the code feature that many OEM car radios have now. If power is removed from the unit (i.e. when the unit is removed from the vehicle), the next time the unit was powered up it would prompt the user for a (user-programmable in Pioneer's case) 4-digit code before it would function.

I actually met my wife in a high-end car stereo store in Annapolis while she worked there. We're still good friends with the former owner of the store. He told us that Pioneer was being overrun by service tickets to reset forgotten secret codes. Apparently they had to desolder a chip on the circuit board to reset it so it was a big deal.

Pioneer eventually abandoned the secret code feature in favor of the removable face radios, which I basically detested. It annoyed me that people were apparently too dumb to set the code to something that they would be able to remember. Now that I've gotten older, I realize that we all have our "gifts" and while someone else might not be able to remember numbers as well as I can, they are likely better at something else that I can't do. With that in mind, I think that Pioneer should have just made the radios a little easier for (Pioneer) to reset. Garmin should have done the same.

- Phil

.

aGPS1219 wrote:

I find a password very necessary, just as with a smartphone, but apparently repeating my reasons will never sink in with some folks.

I get it but what exactly do you expect me (or us) to do? None of us works for Garmin. We can't put Garmin lock feature back on new devices.

Priorities

aGPS1219 wrote:

I find a password very necessary, just as with a smartphone, but apparently repeating my reasons will never sink in with some folks.
~snip~

Not everyone has the same priorities. What's important to some, isn't for others. Freedom of choice. It's a good thing.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

I password my phone and sim

I password my phone and sim card but didn't even know that was an option on my now old nuvi, not that I would ever do it, as it is rarely in my car. In TX you are not required to carry your registration, but not sure that would work if you cross state lines.

No need, but why not be an

No need, but why not be an option

Yes, you can choose NOT to use it, if it exists!

Nobody's forcing people to use a PIN if they don't want to, but why not give the option? Same point made several times here.

Just looking for the WHY of this, as noted before

chewbacca wrote:
aGPS1219 wrote:

I find a password very necessary, just as with a smartphone, but apparently repeating my reasons will never sink in with some folks.

I get it but what exactly do you expect me (or us) to do? None of us works for Garmin. We can't put Garmin lock feature back on new devices.

As stated before, I'm asking because I'd buy a Garmin today to replace my old one if a PIN was offered, and I'm asking them to reinstate the feature soon. Those who don't need it can simply not activate it. What's the big deal, all?

I contacted Garmin and got a drone who just said they don't know, but they'd email me if someone finds out. The phone may work better.

.

aGPS1219 wrote:
chewbacca wrote:
aGPS1219 wrote:

I find a password very necessary, just as with a smartphone, but apparently repeating my reasons will never sink in with some folks.

I get it but what exactly do you expect me (or us) to do? None of us works for Garmin. We can't put Garmin lock feature back on new devices.

As stated before, I'm asking because I'd buy a Garmin today to replace my old one if a PIN was offered, and I'm asking them to reinstate the feature soon. Those who don't need it can simply not activate it. What's the big deal, all?

I contacted Garmin and got a drone who just said they don't know, but they'd email me if someone finds out. The phone may work better.

You seem upset no one here can help you or upset because most disagree with you. As I said before I understand some people want it back. Once again... I know you need the PIN protection. I don't use it but I understand you need it. However, you post your request here and expect that Garmin will read and reinstate it. Or perhaps you expect all replies must agree with you on this issue. That's the part I don't understand.