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HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol and it's method by which web pages are delivered to your browser from whichever server they are stored on. It's the de-facto method used when browsing the web.
HTTPS simply adds an extra layer of security when dealing with things online, such as online banking and personal or sensitive information.
In the same way that SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is the secured version of FTP.
In order for a site to use HTTPS it must be backed up by a 'certificate' that can be obtained online from vendors such as Verisign, GeoTrust etc. This allows the web browser / client to verify that the person they are dealing with is who they say they are.
I've included a link below which will help you to read more into the difference between HTTP / HTTPS: http://www.blogtechnika.com/what-is-difference-between-http-and-https-protocol/
Hope this helps you to understand the concept a little better - and good luck with your Treehouse progress!
Kind Regards, Anthony