Once you have staked your APT, you are contributing to the network's security. In return, you will receive rewards in the form of newly minted APT. Conversely, if you do not participate in staking, your assets will get diluted over time.
The validator you delegate your tokens to is not able to access your funds at any point in time since you are only delegating your staking rights. At no point in time, we have control over your APT or your private key.